Men's Soccer Lets Lead Slip Away In 4-3 Loss To #8 Rio Hondo

Lancer Romio Sislian, who scored a goal on Friday, in action in a game earlier this year.
Lancer Romio Sislian, who scored a goal on Friday, in action in a game earlier this year.

The unranked Pasadena City College men's soccer team had all the momentum after taking a 1-0 halftime lead and then going ahead 3-1 after 62 minutes Friday against state No. 8 ranked Rio Hondo College. But the Roadrunners, the region's No. 5 rated squad in power points, showed why they are rated so high by rallying for three straight goals to send the Lancers to a 4-3, South Coast Conference North Division loss at Robinson Stadium.

PCC (4-5-1 overall) finished a disappointing 1-3 through the first round of conference play. The Lancers dropped from #17 to #21 in the regional power ratings. 

In the 29th minute, Anthony Jimenez cradled in a throw-in by Joshua Moran and ripped in a short-range shot for his team-leading fifth goal for a 1-0 Pasadena lead. Rio Hondo (7-1-4, 1-1-1), who scored all of its goals in the second half, tied it in the 49th minute on a PCC giveaway. Goalie David Quinones had his short kick-out blocked by an on-rushing Phuc Nguyen and the Roadrunner was able to steal the lose ball and knock in the goal into an empty net. Only a minute earlier, Quinones brilliantly made a diving save to stone Rio Hondo's Roman Delgado on a penalty kick.

The Lancers, though, responded with two goals in a span of seven minutes for a commanding 3-1 lead. In the 55th minute, Jimenez took a free kick from the 20-yard line with Edwin De Jesus first re-directing the ball into a Rio Hondo defender. Romio Sislian found the rebound near the goal-line and connected for a 2-1 lead. 

PCC made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute as De Jesus stormed in for a 1-timer goal off a corner kick by Marvin Moreno. Just two minutes later, Rio Hondo answered on a goal by Humberto Mendez Rojas. In the 78th minute, the Roadrunners tied it. Quinones stopped a free kick from the 16-yard line by Andres Salazar. But Brian Ramirez was Johnny on the Spot as Quinones couldn't control the ball and Ramirez immediately kicked in the loose ball deep in the box for a goal.

In the 81st minute, another PCC miscue led to the winning goal. Christopher Munoz was called for a foul in the box that gave RHC a penalty kick. Martinez placed a shot into the short corner past a diving Quinones to complete the Roadrunners' rally. 

It was a bittersweet game for Quinones, who had many outstanding stops as part of his nine saves. The redshirt freshman made a show-stopper in the 75th minute to block a point-blank attempt by Joseph Fuentes besides the PK save earlier in the half. 

Next Friday, Oct. 12, the Lancers return to action with a SCC crossover game at Long Beach City College. Game time is 4 p.m.