The Pasadena City College men's soccer team didn't know what to expect on its long, season-opening, 7-match road trip, but a 3-2-1 mark thus far has encouraged the Lancers as they enter the highly difficult South Coast Conference schedule. The Lancers shut out host Glendale, 2-0, on Friday night.
PCC scored both of its goals at the end of each half. In the first half, Bryce Watson steered his corner kick into the 6-yard box allowing Eduardo Gonzales to place a header into the net for a 1-0 Lancers lead. It was until the 90th minute and stoppage time that the Lancers added an insurance goal when Anthony Jimenez received a lead pass from Lucas Rodriguez, dribbled in, and fired an upper corner blast to complete the game's scoring.
The Lancers had many scoring opportunities, totaling 20 shots only to be foiled by Glendale goalie Kevin Portillo, who made 12 saves. Romio Sislian three times came up empty in the 71st, 83rd and 90th minutes thanks to Portillo tipping away his drives within 20 yards from the goal. Santana Nunez also was robbed off a goal on a point-blank shot in the 22nd minute.
Lancers goalie Steven Sandoval picked up the shutout with eight saves. His best stop came after a turnover inside the goalie box. In the 20th minute, Ivis Gutierrez-Lopez stole the ball from a PCC defender right at the top of the box. Sandoval met Gutierrez-Lopez and body-blocked an attempt inside the 6-yard box. On the rebound, the Vaqueros' Makan Alfazi missed an open net from the 5-yard line.
"We were too direct in our offensive approach instead of going side to side and keeping possession," said PCC head coach Gerry Mora. "We had some highlights and I'm satisfied with the result."
PCC's Jimenez, Rodriguez, Sislian, and David Vasquez-Mena often free-wheeled into Glendale's territory. On the defensive side, the Lancers had strong play from reserves Edson Pulido and Joshua Moran. The speedy Watson and Bryan Garcia continue to be mainstays on defense and in the team's transition game.
The Lancers end their road swing and open SCC North Division play on Tuesday, Sept. 25 when they play at Chaffey College in a 4 p.m. game.