After allowing four goals to Cerritos for the second time this season, PCC goalkeeper Andrew Espinoza turned towards his sideline and flung off his goalie glove, cracking it like a whip; Friday’s 4-1 loss came to a Falcon team which played with 10 men for over half the match.
Playing a Cerritos squad that had 10 straight wins, Pasadena City had actually taken an early lead and was dominating possession in the first 20 minutes. Though PCC played a 4-4-2, the ball spent little time in the midfield, and both teams managed fast breaks. Still, PCC appeared to have the majority of the chances early.
“[PCC is] pressing their back line really hard, they have a lot of numbers in the box and whenever they have a chance to take a shot they do,” Said PCC Women’s soccer right back Emily Matthiesen, who was in attendance to cheer on her fellow Lancers.
The PCC goal came in the 2nd minute, as Pablo Buenrostro picked up a good cross field pass on the right side, streaked into the box and tagged a low strike into the far corner.
However, Cerritos would equalize in the 37th minute of the game, when striker Christian Perez uncorked a powerful 20-yard stunner past Espinoza into the far corner. The assist came from Carlos Payeras, who 2 minutes and 30 seconds later gave Cerritos a 2-1 lead on a give and go with Perez, silencing the crowd.
“There’s no defense,” Said Sam Sislian, father of Lancer midfielder, Romio Sislian.
Since the 25th minute, the Lancers defense had struggled to keep Cerritos pinned on their own half of the field. The chances for the Falcons increased as a result forcing keeper Andrew Espinoza to make some stellar saves. In a 26th minute fast break, Espinoza made an incredible double save first with his right arm as he charged and went down, then with his left foot on a rebound just left of the penalty dot.
Espinoza also communicated well with teammates, as shown on a dangerous throw into the box from Cerritos. Espinoza saw the play and urged his defense not to foul with a 1 goal lead
“No foul, no foul, good work!” Espinoza said before kicking away a low percentage shot forced by the Lancer defense.
With positives to build off of, but stunned by two late goals, the Lancers went into the second half with a manageable 2-1 deficit. They would be tested in the 47th minute, however, forced to defend a set piece from 24 yards out. Cerritos midfielder Luis Garcia stepped in from the left and launched a carefully paced ball with beautiful left to right curve over the four man wall and into the top right corner of the net.
The Lancers never recovered, and lacked significant offensive chances in the second half. They would surrender another goal in the 72nd minute and walk off the field with a 1-3-1 home record, making it impossible to finish the year with a winning record at home. Acting head coach Gerry Mora declined a postgame interview.
The Lancers play next this Tuesday at 2pm against Chaffey.