It was a hard fought battle, with the Lancers racking up six yellow cards against state ranked No. 2 team San Bernardino Valley College, but the Sept. 27 home match ended in a 1-1 draw that was marked by two minor defensive errors.
The Lancers were the first on the board, scoring when Sergio Benitez stole a ball near the 25-yard line from the Wolverines defense. Benitez then turned the defender around and finished perfectly with a chip over the keeper into the left corner.
“I pressured the last man and he took a bad touch and I just won it from him and I chipped it over the keeper,” Benitez said. “As a team we played well. We wanted to get the win it didn’t happen.”
“We came out and we played a very physical game. They didn’t know we could play physical,” head coach Edgar Manvelyan said. “They are a good side, they play good soccer, but I think we deserved a win today. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”
The Lancers collected a total of six yellow cards to one picked up by the Wolverines. Almost all of them were the result of hard tackles, although one was for a little pushing and shoving prior to a free kick.
With three beautiful saves, the Lancers goalkeeper Gaetano Perez kept them in the game, including one leaping save that was flying toward the top right corner off a Valley College free kick by Mario Montiel.
“People think it’s a spectacular save, but its just natural, it just happens. It’s just reactions, I really owe it to my team,” said Perez.
Montiel scored the only goal for the Wolverines just prior to half time after collecting a bad pass by the Lancers defense and slotting it deftly into the corner of the net.
In the second half the Lancers had a number of chances to go ahead, but the Wolverines keeper Victor Silva was fast off his line and able to intercept.
Near the end of the game Forward Sarmeen Ibrahim just beat Silva to the ball but the ball bounced away from the goal.
“We did very well, but we didn’t have luck,” Ibrahim said.
The Lancers have their first home conference game on Friday against East LA College at Robinson Stadium at 3 p.m.