A Glendale team looking to assert itself as a tough team in its last preseason game, tied visiting Orange Coast College 2-2 on Friday night at Sartoris Field.
Throughout the game the Vaqueros showed improvement from their previous matches. They had better on the ball composure and were able to lead their teammates with accurate through balls.
The beginning of the game was a feeling-out process for both teams. Both sides were timid, not wanting to be the first to allow a goal to be scored.
The first shot on goal was by Rony Epelbaum of Orange Coast in the 21st minute. It was drilled cleanly, but was stopped by Glendale goalkeeper Edwin Cabrera.
A yellow card was given to Orange Coast’s Mike Herrman in the 30th minute after he argued with the referee. Shortly thereafter, another extraordinary save was made by Cabrera. He dove to the right side to stop a goal that seemed like it was almost certainly going to go in.
The Vaqueros’ ability to put the ball in Oxnard’s danger zone provided them with the chance for its first goal. A ball was crossed in to the Oxnard box and after a bit of a scrum between the players, Ramsey Issa slide tackled the ball and scored the game’s first goal. Glendale’s bench erupted, and Issa blew kisses to the crowd.
All through the first half, Orange Coast’s Mike Anderson kicked and jabbed at Glendale players in an attempt to get into their heads. Coach Joe Agoston addressed this during his half-time speech. Agoston said, “Don’t let 23 get into your head.. He wants you to retaliate so we go down to 10 men.” Assistant coach Laura Matsumoto urged the club to stay aggressive. “Take everything from them,” she said.
The game changed when Orange Coast’s Rony Epelbaum was able to go one better than his previous shot on goal when he finished off with a cross from David Torres and scored a goal in the 47th minute. Glendale was shocked by the quick goal but continued to play strong.
The Vaqueros were able to answer the score by Orange Coast in the minute. Glendale’s Jason Acosta brought the ball up from midfield and was able to push it over an Orange Coast defender to Otar Chikhradze. As Chikhradze made his run towards the goal, Orange Coast goalie Alan Vilchez pressed him. Chikhradze shot and was able to get the ball through the goalies legs for the goal.
When asked about what he was thinking when he shot the ball, Chikhrazde said, “You don’t have time to think, you just shoot.”
A goalie change was made by Glendale for Hakob Boghossian in the 70th minute.
Orange Coast scored three minutes later to even the score 2-2.
The Vaqueros have a strong team this year that has a strong chance to make the playoffs. Ramsey Issa said, “We have to put away all the chances.. We are starting conference games where we might only get three chances per half.”
The Vaqueros next game is Oct. 1 at home against Allan Hancock College at 7 p.m.