In a battle of two State Top 15 teams, the No. 15 Pasadena City College men's soccer team were moments away from earning a hard-fought tie with No. 3 Mt. San Antonio Friday. But after the Lancers' Artin Almary scored on a penalty kick in the 88th minute, the Mounties stunned PCC on a header goal in stoppage time for a 3-2 win in the South Coast Conference North Division game at Robinson Stadium.
The Lancers (9-4-3, 2-2-1 in SCC) saw their 4-game winning streak snapped and lost to Mt. SAC, the current division leader at 13-2-1 and 4-0-1 in conference, for the second time in divisonal play.
In the seventh minute, Mt. SAC took an early lead on Juan Sanchez' header goal directly off save and punch out by PCC goalie Kristopher Guerra. PCC responded in the 40th minute when reserve forward Yader Rodriguez took a cross from another reserve in Satchel Robinson and ripped a one-timer shot for the tying goal.
In the second half, both teams played cautiously as the team defenses kept the scoring chances down to a minimum. However, with 20 minutes left, PCC was called for a foul in the box resulting in a penalty kick goal by Mt. SAC's Michael Flores to again put the Lancers behind. The Lancers pressured Mt. SAC and earned their own PK with Almary, a sophomore, calmly tying it on a hard kick for his fourth goal of the season.
Instead of celebrating the tie, the Mounties received one more opportunity. With the regulation 90 minutes over and the teams in stoppage time, Mt. SAC earned a free kick near the sideline of the end zone. Sanchez took the kick and placed it perfectly for Joel Martin, who headed in the game-winning score. The final whistle was blown a minute later.
PCC outshot the Mt. SAC, 15-8, and had more scoring chances. Diego Rodriguez was stoned by a great save by Mounties' goalie Edwyn Gutierrez in the 20th minute. In the 73rd minute, Diego took an open shot from the 10-yard line and bended it, just missing the upper right corner. Gutierrez had seven saves overall and was instrumental for his team.
"We had our chances and their goalie killed us with some big saves," said PCC head coach Henry Cabral. "Yes, we lost, but you can't really fault how we played. We generated offense and played well enough on defense to keep them from getting open attempts. It was just a tough ending."
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Lancers travel to face Chaffey at 4 p.m.
[Photo--Yader Rodriguez goes hard after the ball during PCC's loss v. Mt. SAC on Friday, image by Richard Quinton.]