After an imposing 3-0 victory against East Los Angeles College on Friday, the Lancers men’s soccer team (3-2-5) traveled to play host Long Beach Community College (3-3-4) Tuesday in what turned out to be a physical matchup between the two South Coast Conference rivals.

Mary Nurrenbern/Courier PCC Lancer Luis Flores (10) is held back from kicking the ball by East Los Angeles player Eric Chavez (14) during the Mens Soccer game on Oct 4, 2013 in Robinsons Stadium at PCC
Mary Nurrenbern/Courier
PCC Lancer Luis Flores (10) is held back from kicking the ball by East Los Angeles player Eric Chavez (14) during the Mens Soccer game on Oct 4, 2013 in Robinsons Stadium at PCC

The Lancers were first on the scoreboard after a goal in the 20th minute by freshman midfielder German Alfaro. Alfaro put the Lancers on the board after he broke free down the left sideline on a breakaway pass from sophomore forward Luis Flores.

“Our success has really been a group effort,” Alfaro said. “Our team is made up of multiple leaders and I think that’s what separates us from other teams.”

The 1-0 lead would be short lived as the Vikings answered with the game-tying goal in the 27th minute by freshman midfielder Erik Carbajal. Carbajal scored on a free kick from 30 yards out, off the left goal post and by PCC goalkeeper Gaetano Perez.

Although the Lancers walked away tied with LBCC, their production and leadership from goalkeeper Gaetano Perez has been a tremendous help to this year’s young squad.

“Gaetano’s a great leader and goalkeeper,” Flores added. “His leadership is great and he really gives us that vocal leadership on the field that we need. Having a great goalkeeper gives our team a lot of confidence in the back. We know that if there’s a shot on goal, more than likely he’ll be there to save it.”

Perez is ranked third in the conference in total saves (35) and is first in the conference in save percentage (.946) and goals allowed (2).

“Having a great goalie helps us tremendously,” Alfaro added. “He sees everything from the back, and because he’s a great leader he lets us know what adjustments need to be made. He’s one of the biggest leaders on the team.”

The Lancers were outshot by the Vikings 18-12 (5-3 shots on goal), but the quick hands of Perez were able to come away with four timely saves, including three key saves over the final five minutes of the game.

“Everything we do is a team effort,” head coach Edgar Manvelyan added. “Our preseason goal was to win the state championship. I definitely think we have that squad capable of making a run in the postseason. We are taking everything one game at a time, but I think playoffs is our minimum goal and hopefully much more.”

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