The Lancers’ men’s soccer team snatched a 1-1 draw in the dying minutes against home team ECC-Compton Center on Tuesday in their opening conference game.
PCC overcame horrific playing conditions and scheduling, which made it impossible to play their own style of game. The venue was switched hours before kickoff and the field was unsafe due to potholes, mud and dirt.
PCC’s head coach Edgar Manvelyan, who is in his fifth season for the Lancers, was appalled at the unsatisfactory soccer field.
“The field was the worst soccer field conditions I’ve witness at the junior college level”, Manvelyan said. “There is no excuse. I’m happy that we got the tie in the last few minutes, but I would not recommend for another game to be played there. It’s very unsafe and not a playable field, not at the JC level.”
For the second time in three games, Manvelyan’s team conceded the opening goal, with Compton scoring off a simple shot in the 14th minute from a throw in.
The Lancers were forced to change their tactics in the second half due to the tough field conditions, with Coach Manvelyan shifting three midfielders forward.
PCC typically practice and play their games on turf, which is a faster surface that requires lots of passing and deft touches that help to control the ball. This was a foreign situation that the Lancers had to endure.
“It was very, very difficult conditions to play in,” Manvelyan said. “It took us 45 minutes to adjust and understand how to play on that field. You couldn’t connect three passes, it was all long balls, it was very ugly soccer.”
Sophomore Luis Ramirez and freshman Abel Cadena orchestrated the match-saving goal six minutes before the final whistle. Substitute Cadena carried the ball from the left side and crossed the ball to Ramirez, who waited inside the box and tapped the ball in.
The Lancers threw everything at Compton in the second half, apart from the kitchen sink.
“We pushed in the second half, with three at the top, we went direct, tried throw ins, corner kicks, tried to get something, we tried everything,” Manvelyan said.
Pasadena also had to contend with being without three of their starting players due to two red cards from the previous game against Rio Hondo and injury. This was another barrier the Lancers had to face, which affected the execution of their play.
“Being down three starters really did affect us a lot, as we all had to step up to the plate and make a difference,” Ramirez said. “The new players didn’t really adjust to our game because they didn’t have enough playing time. We fought hard and did well.”
The Lancers host Mt San Antonio College today at 3 p.m.