WALNUT, Calif. - The historic run by the El Camino College men's soccer team came to an end in the third round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoff game after falling to No.1 Seeded Mt. Sac at their place by a score of 1-0.
The Warriors (14-3-5) saw their hopes of making it to the state final four come to a halt in the final round of the Southern California section of the playoffs.
The No.4 seeded Warriors were evenly matched up with the No.1 seeded Mounties (21-0-3) for almost the entirety of the game.
The Warriors had two great looks at goal to start the game off. Larry Lopez found himself behind the backline of the Mountie defense on a looping ball over the defense but couldn't make proper contact with his foot and saw his shot weakly cleared by a defender. Melvyn Perez-Cortez also had a huge opportunity to put the Warriors in front after he broke free for an opener header on a corner kick. His ball may have crossed some of the line but the defense was able to clear it and no goal was awarded. Perez-Cortez and Lopez would each have another great look on goal before the half ended but neither could put their shot on frame.
Mt. Sac got the breakthrough goal in the 27th minute of play. Gerardo Cazares crossed the ball to a wide open Angel Santoyo on a Warrior defensive breakdown and Santoyo was able to head the ball into a wide open net.
Luis Garibay was fantastic between the sticks for the Warriors. He was credited with six saves for the game. He kept the Warriors hopes alive multiple times after some of his point blank range saves.
In the second half of the game, the Warriors had some chances on goal but some great defense by the Mounties stuffed out their chances. Melvyn Perez-Cortez had a good look at goal just inside the 18-yard box but his shot was deflected by a diving Mountie defender. Towards the end of regulation, Matthew Villongco had a shot blocked inside the box where it looked like the defender kicked a Warrior player inside the box. However, the Warriors appeals for a penalty were denied.
The Mounties did a great job of seeing out the end of the game with time wasting. And the Warriors frustration boiled into a confrontation in the 90th minute where two Warriors were sent off and a Mountie player was yellow carded.
The Warriors finished their season with fourteen wins, five draws, and just three losses. Their only losses came against higher ranked foes in Mt. Sac and Cerritos (twice).