Men’s Soccer Finishes Season in 6th Place

Nik Brkic

In the last game of a tough season, the Vaquero men’s soccer team still had something to play for. If it could beat Mission College, then Glendale would finish the season ranked fifth and Mission would finish sixth. Unfortunately, Glendale lost to Mission 2-1 at Sartoris Field on Nov. 12.

The Vaqueros started the game well by putting pressure on the Mission defense. In the first minute of the game Glendale forward Jason Acosta was able to get the ball in space a few yards outside the penalty box. He struck the ball with power but it sailed over the crossbar.

After that, Mission began to use Glendale’s aggressiveness against them. With the Vaqueros pushing so far into Mission’s side of the field, it left open the opportunity for counter attacks. Mission was able to create two good counter attacks early in the first half.

The first counterattack was focused on the right side of the field and ended with Mission forward Ahmad Yacoub taking a shot that pulled to the right side. The second counter attack also ended with a shot by Yacoub, but this time he was able to put the ball in the back of the net to give Mission the lead.

The goal did not rattle Glendale as much as it had in earlier games. The players continued to move the ball around in order to create opportunities.

The Vaqueros’ ability to get the ball to each other in space culminated in two good shots. The first was by sophomore Yader Arita,?who delivered a solid strike that just missed the net. The other shot was taken by sophomore Tade?Mirazaian on the right side, as he tried to shoot the ball toward the bottom left corner of the goal. Unfortunately, the ball missed the goal by just inches.

Throughout the game, Mission midfielder Juan Gomez played an overly aggressive game bordering on “dirty.” In the first half he came in with a hard tackle, injuring Glendale player Tomas Jolon. Jolon did not return for the rest of the game. Gomez then threw an elbow as he went up for a header, hitting a Glendale player. There was no call by the referee, which caused unrest on the Vaquero bench.

During halftime, Coach Joe Agoston addressed the team and gave advice on how to win the game. Agoston made wholesale changes to both forward positions and some midfield positions. In total, he substituted five people.

Like the beginning of the first half, the second half started off with opportunities for Glendale. Sophomore Rudis “Rudy” Lazo pressed a Mission defender causing him to run back to his goalie. The defender fumbled the ball, giving Lazo an opportunity to recover. Lazo gave it his all in a full sprint to the ball but the goalie for Mission got there a split second faster.

Later in the second half, Gomez received a yellow card for a late tackle.

Glendale forward Ramsey Issa was able to get the ball past the Mission defenders and head the ball in. The line judge called off the goal due to an offside call.

Minutes later, Glendale was awarded a free kick to the left of the Mission goal. Glendale freshman Ronald Ventura took the free kick. Ventura was able to bend the ball to the back post and in to the net.
The Vaquero bench erupted with excitement as the ball went in.

After the goal, Mission began to pull more players back in an attempt to keep up their defenses.

This allowed Glendale to pressure and to keep the ball on the Mission side of the field. Mission was able to turn this disadvantage into an advantage. Mission went on a counter attack and was able to weave through the Glendale defense to score its second goal at the 40 minute-mark.

Glendale received a free kick at 45 minutes. Sophomore Hans Cabrera took the free kick and crossed it into the penalty box. Glendale freshman, Yusepe Garcia?chested the ball down to the feet of Yuto Hisamura who was now 2 yards away from the goal. Hisamura hit the ball but it sailed over the crossbar. The game ended a few minutes after that shot.

The realization set in for Glendale players that their season was over. Many players were visibly upset sitting on the bench.

“This is the last time we will be together as a team,” said freshman Jonathan Moctezuma.

The team finished the season with a record of 3-8-1.