The men’s soccer team fired on all cylinders against home team San Diego Mesa College in a dominant 4-2 win on Monday.
The Lancers have been slow out of the blocks in the last two games and Monday’s match wasn’t an exception, with the Olympians scoring in the 20th minute. Kevin Geddes capitalized on the keeper making a meal of the ball by scoring in the 40th minute and drawing things level 1-1.
A change of strategy by Coach Edgar Manvelyan paid dividends immediately after half-time. Co-captain, Victor Manchaca headed an eye-catching goal due to a bulls-eye pass from Shawhin Berenji, which put the Lancers in the lead 2-1.
Manvelyan said that PCC has been successfully changing their playing formation in order to create more shots on goal.
“Changing the formation has been working really well, as we do it on the practice field and do it in the game,” Manvelyan said. “We’re pressing more now, high to get more opportunities and to score more goals. Our aim is to have 15 plus shots at goal each game.”
PCC skipped ahead to 3-1 in the 62nd minute due to some slick work from Christopher Sinani. Machaca fed the ball to Sinani, who chested the ball down and drove the ball into the net.
In the 84th minute, Abel Cadena dribbled the ball to Eric Benitez, who put the result beyond doubt with the Lancers’ fourth goal.
The Lancers outshot San Diego Mesa 21-5 in a one-sided performance that improved their non-conference record to 2-3-1.
Edgar Menendez and Victor Manchaca were the standout players for the Lancers, according to Coach Manvelyan.
“Edgar controlled the whole middle and Victor had a goal and an assist and did a good job as well,” Manvelyan said.“These players stepped up yesterday and performed really well for over 85 minutes on a huge field.”
The Lancers are trying to bolster their back line due to a few injury concerns and their defense is another priority.
“We don’t have enough bodies in the back, so we’re doing some rotations to keep them healthy for the conference games,” Manvelyan pointed out. “Right now, we need to work a little on our defense to make sure we don’t give up a lot of goals. We need to make it tighter, more compact.”
Sophomore Briley Venti has been a huge contributor this season.
“He is a hard worker, scored a lot and has played in various positions. He is the one who has stood out, with no complaints and does his job”, Manvelyan added.
Venti attributes his consistent success to his pre-season training and constant anticipation.
“Over the summer I was going to the gym each day and I did a lot of work with a friend who plays Division 1 soccer,” said Venti. “My anticipation of the ball has helped me. I am always making the last run or extra run to find the ball, so I can put it in the back of the net,” Venti added.
Venti, who is tied with Kevin Geddes for the team’s goal scoring lead, paid tribute to the coaching staff and his teammates.
“The coaching staff push us to be the best we can be and I’m willing to do anything for the team, to sacrifice for my brothers and family,” Venti said.
PCC will next face Rio Hondo College in an away game on Friday, Sept. 26th at 4 p.m.