The Lancers men’s soccer team opened pre-season against Southwestern College on Friday, where the score was held 2-2 after a mix up between the Lancers’ center-back and goalkeeper allowed SWC to tie within the last minutes of a hotly contested match.
With a new season of transition, coach Henry Cabral has been given the task of taking a revamped squad, containing 20 freshmen, to enter this season with the same grit from last year.
“This is their [the freshmen] second game, we have a strong team,” said Cabral. “There’s high expectations for this team.”
Only five players returned from the team’s successful 2016 season.
The handful is comprised of forward, Yader Rodriguez, who tallied 8 goals last season and scored on Friday’s game. Talented midfielder Joshua Arevalo will be the team’s captain and Pablo Buenrostro – who scored and assisted on Friday’s game – will be team co-captain. Adding to the pack: defensive wingback Satchel Robinson and defender Alexander Hernandez.
“There’s no time for practice games or easy ones. It’s a young team, so I thought it was good that we still came back at the end of the game,” Arevalo said. “We should of had that win, but of course it’s early in the season, so I think from here on we’re going to get better as a team.”
Lancers started off the game as they always do: aggressive and pressuring when needed. Within 15 minutes into the game, a risky foul from Bryce Watson left PCC with one less man, after the referee issued a straight red card to the defender.
Coach Cabral kept his game plan, altering his formation with three defenders in the back. In the 35th minute, SWC’s Armando Garcia solo effort capitalized on PCC’s blunder by stealing the ball and side netting his shot.
Second half, Lancers gained control of the game with 10 men. The away team would go to score in the 70th minute (goal by Rodriguez, assisted by Buenrostro) and a 90 minute tap-in by captain Buenrostro.
“The red card killed it. One mistake and we’re done, forward Rodriguez said. “We came to win here, but we tied at the end. So it feels like we lost today.”
PCC’s perseverance was again cut short. SWC quickly directed all their men into Lancers penalty area, sending a long ball that led to a callow own goal between the keepers’ legs, all under a minute after going up 2-1.
As coach Cabral mentioned the team is full of great potential. Now Lancers will look to add experience in their next six away fixtures to prepare for their SSC season opener on September 29th at Chaffey College.