The Lancers’ foul-plagued men’s soccer team finished the game with nine players and lost their first conference game 4-0 against No. 5-ranked Mt. San Antonio College. Their losing streak is now at seven games.

Freshman defender Jorge Mejia was sent off in the 4th minute and freshman midfielder Alex Goddard was sent off in the 60th minute.

Keely Damara/Courier Lancers freshman defender Henry Escobedo, #15, loses control of the ball as he falls to Mt. San Antonio’s sophomore defender Ricardo Valdez, #20.
Keely Damara/Courier
Lancers freshman defender Henry Escobedo, #15, loses control of the ball as he falls to Mt. San Antonio’s sophomore defender Ricardo Valdez, #20.

Mejia received two yellow cards within minutes of each other for a foul inside the opponent’s box and a hand ball at midfield. Goddard received consecutive yellow cards within seconds of each other for a foul and for allegedly swearing at the lead official following the card.

The Lancers had four yellow cards in the first half and finished the game with seven, resulting in two red cards. The Mounties finished the game with one yellow card.

Freshman defender Derek Bell believed being down one player very early was more costly in the second half than the first.

“It’s just hard to play against a really hard team having two red cards. It’s hard to come back playing two men down,” Bell said. “But I think our team worked hard. We played a lot better in the first half. Hopefully next time in full strength we can do a little better.”

The Lancers looked hungry in the first half but weren’t able to finish their shots near the goal. They looked very good despite being a man short.

Head coach Edgar Manvelyan declined to comment once again but gave an empowering postgame speech to his team after the loss. Co-captain Fausto Espinoza also declined to comment.

Freshman forward Christopher Chemlekian maintained that the fact Mejia was sent off so early didn’t have too much of an effect on the team.

“Even after the red card in the first four minutes, we played really well in the first half,” Chemlekian said. “In the second half we came out a little slow in the first five minutes and they took advantage of having that extra man. Once we got that second red card it went downhill from there. It’s really hard to play against these guys with eight guys on the field.”

In the second half, the Lancers looked puzzled and, as usual, gave up easy goals in the second half. The Lancers have allowed 10 second-half goals during their losing streak and have allowed eight unanswered goals in their last two games.

The men played well after the first red card but everything went sour after Mt. SAC’s first goal in the 24th minute. Mt. SAC wasted no time coming into the second half before scoring two more goals in the 48th minute and 51st minute.

To add insult to injury, Mt. SAC scored their fourth goal in the 63rd minute after the Lancers lost another player to a red card a few minutes prior.

The winless Lancers travel to El Camino College (1-5-2 overall) on Friday, Oct. 2 for their second conference game. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m.

El Camino tied their opener against El Camino-Compton Center on Friday.

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