PCC men’s soccer lost their last home game of the season 2-0 to Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in a contest that was drab from start to finish for the Lancers.
Now having lost three of their last four matches, PCC will end the season without a winning record and without much accomplishment.
Mt. SAC toyed with the Lancers defensively, allowing them to have possession, but using their superior holding midfield to pick off Lancer passes in the final third. Mt. SAC would counter-attack, and PCC had no answer.
Midfielder Alexis Diaz-Paya capitalized on a free kick just outside the box in the 15th minute to put Mt. SAC in control at 1-0. The Lancers attempted to equalize, with missed chances in the 57th and 58th minutes, then a mental lapse on a counter-attack in the 76th minute put Mt. SAC ahead 2-0. Icing the game.
Acting head coach Gerry Mora did not comment after the game, but his silence is deafening.
The Lancers had no tactical answer for the counter-attack. It is Mora’s job to make halftime adjustments, but the PCC team looked as uninspiring in the first half as they did the second.
PCC used the near touchline as a crutch for their fullbacks and wingers to try and launch an attack, but the experienced Mt SAC defense was having none of that.
It was just one of those games that gets you tired when watching it. The shining sun beated down on spectators as no one on the Lancers roster could create that little bit of magic to make a difference.
The body language from both coaches was also worrying for Pasadena. Mt. SAC coach Juan Sanchez was up on his feet most of the match and was constantly yelling tactics to his players while coaching multiple substitutes on the bench.
Coach Mora sat for a majority of the game after his team went down 1-0 and only made an occasional comment to the ref or to a player close by on the touchline. Only until going down 2-0 did Mora make a substitution. An upset fan had been yelling out to the Lancers technical area to make a change as none of the players on the pitch had made a difference.
Mora came in after former head coach Henry Cabral left the team allegedly for ‘personal reasons,’ but the form of the Lancers should prompt more movement in the coaching department. Only one win in the month of October killed the Lancers’ chances of making the playoffs.
The thing is, the Lancers do have talented players. Target man Pablo Buenrostro has led the Lancers in goals this season since being switched from a midfielder to a striker. Fullbacks Bryce Watson and Satchel Robinson made great passes but didn’t have anyone in the right places to capitalize on them. Both players also made great runs into the Mt SAC half, but couldn’t get a pass of good enough quality to challenge the defense.
Nonetheless, there are still many questions surrounding the Lancers as they head into the offseason.
The season finale for PCC will be on Friday at 4:00 p.m. in a trip to Rio Hondo.