The Lancers’ men’s soccer team suffered its worst defeat of the season, losing 8-2 to Cerritos College on Tuesday at Robinson Stadium.
Pasadena’s defense had no answers for the Falcon’s relentless attacking display. It made matters worse that PCC was missing a few of its key defensive players due to injuries and ineligibility.
Lancer’s Head Coach Edgar Manvelyan couldn’t hide his disappointment at his side’s meek defensive display.
“Everything in the back went wrong, we played a terrible defensive game today. Every time they attacked, they scored a goal,” Manvelyan said.
In the third minute, Cerritos took the lead 1-0 by catching Pasadena’s defense off-guard with a sneaky steal. The Lancers threatened to deadlock things, but failed to capitalize on a few early opportunities, with freshman midfielder Brandon Gerlach missing a penalty kick and a feed from co-captain George Barba in the span of a few minutes.
The Lancers were their own worst enemies due to some inaccurate passing in their own half, which allowed the Falcons to skip away to a 3-0 lead after 33 minutes.
What made matters worse for the Lancers was a missed golden opportunity in the 44th minute. Barba was given a penalty kick because of excessive contact in the box by the Falcons. His usually dependable left foot couldn’t find the back of the net, leaving PCC even more deflated.
Five minutes into the second-half, freshman Kris Carjaval misjudged a bungling pass-back to replacement goalkeeper David Orellana and Cerritos tapped in an effortless goal, inflating the lead 4-0.
The Lancers finally opened their account in the 63rd minute, with Barba adding the finishing touches after his co-captain Victor Manchaca’s potent free kick rebounded off the Falcons’ goalie.
This provided PCC some extra spark, but it was too little, too late. Cerritos added another nail in the coffin a minute later with a near-replica of their previous goal. Freshman defender Robert SantaCruz lost control of another pass-back to Orellana and the Falcons extended their lead to 5-1.
Four minutes later, Manchaca’s powerful left cross rebounded off a Falcons’ defender and Carjaval seized his chance with the Lancers’ second goal.
Cerritos blitzed PCC in the final 15 minutes with three quick goals, providing the knockout punch in a brutal performance.
Barba summed up his team’s abysmal defensive showing.
“We had a major defensive meltdown and they knew how to capitalize on all the opportunities that we handed them. We didn’t get outplayed by a better team, we just handed them the game on a silver platter,” Barba said.
Pasadena next faces East LA College at Monterey Park on Friday, 4 p.m.