A last minute goal gave the Lancers a 2-1 win over Rio Hondo Friday at El Camino College, ending the season with PCC placing 5th in the South Coast Conference Tournament.
“We go off to a rocky start, we couldn’t get anything going but we found opportunities and we took advantage of them,” said Head Coach Gerry Mora.“The team dug deep and found enough energy to finish off strong and get the win.”
The Lancers couldn’t find any offense moving beginning the match. The Lancers had a handful of shots on goal but failed to score as many off the goals; a few would be wide left of the net. The Lancers defense played well through the first half as the Roadrunners did not get their first shot on goal until 20 minutes into the first half. Lancers Forward Andres Velasquez gave his team a 1-0 lead 24 minutes into the first half.
“We could have played better in the first half but we scored the only goal of the half so we didn’t do that bad,” said team Captain Edson Pulido.
As the second half started both teams couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side. Lancers’ goalie Steven Sandoval shined in the second half as he had five saves. As the Lancers defense was thriving in the start of the second half the offense was struggling as they got their first shot at goal 15 minutes in. Later in the half both teams’ goalies blocked a pair of shots back to back.
With the second half coming to an end, both teams began to play more aggressively on the offensive side trying anything they could to score. The Lancers defense began to play a little too aggressively as a foul was called on them, giving Lancers Defender Jared Hernandez a yellow card. The Roadrunners’ Stefano Panebianco was awarded a penalty kick and scored tying up the game 1-1 with less than 20 minutes left in the final half.
As the final minutes of the match began to wind down on the clock players began to be even more aggressive as they didn’t want to end it in a tie. Many fouls were called in the last minutes causing players to be emotional and frustrated. As the intensity of the game was increasing the defense also stepped up for both teams as they did not allow the offenses to get any shots on goal.
The Lancers were granted a corner kick with hopes of scoring for the win. The corner kick failed as it landed down the field by a Roadrunners defender. The Lancers’ players grew frustrated as they knew that was an opportunity to win the game. As the final five minutes ticked down on the clock Lancers’ Forward Martin Manzanilla saved the day with a goal, giving the Lancers a 2-1 lead with three minutes left. Following the goal the players bench erupted with happiness and excitement as PCC knew they had won the game.
The Lancers finish off their season with a record of 10-8-4 and going 5-1-3 in its final nine conference games.