By Javier Cabrera / Sports editor
By Javier Cabrera / Sports editor
The Riverside City College men’s soccer team is showing great success as they began the season with four wins, one tie and one loss.
The latest game was against Chaffey, a team coming into the game with two previous losses to Oxnard then Glendale and unsuccessful efforts against the Tigers in the past two years.
For the full 90 minutes of the game, Chaffey played harder than the RCC Tigers showing they wanted the win more than the Tigers. History did not repeat itself as Chaffey settled for a 4-4 draw with the Tigers.
Known for being rough, Chaffey had four yellow cards, two of which were handed to Joshua Salas which resulted in a red card and forced his team to play one man down for the rest of the game.
The game began with the Tigers at a 1-0 lead against their opponent, but unfortunately, Chaffey was able to score two goals taking the lead from the Tigers. For the remainder of the game, the Tigers couldn’t recover their leading score.
“Chaffey had a lot of skilled players and everybody on their team had the ability to get the ball and control it pretty well,” said coach Jose Angel Moreno. “That was why it was difficult for us to maintain the score, but luckily we adapted to their style of play and we managed to get the tie.”
The Tigers’ lead scoring striker, Jimmy Martinez who has 11 of the Tigers 21 goals, had a ‘hat-trick’ meaning he scored three goals in one game.
“I knew I had three goals but I was just trying to get my team a victory as always,” Martinez said. “I don’t care how many goals I make because I just go and play the full 90 minutes as hard as a I can and leave my effort on the field.”
“Martinez is one of the most exciting forwards we’ve had in many years and he is very accurate when it comes to putting the ball away,” said Moreno. “He is barely going to be the league’s top scorer.”
“I appreciate coach for saying that about me and thinking highly of me like that,” Martinez said. “I plan on keeping that statement with me for the whole season.”
“He is very fast with and without the ball,” Moreno said. “He knows how to move into open spaces and give his team the opportunity to see his movements very clearly so they can really find him when he is making the runs to the goal.”
“I just play as hard as I can, score as many goals as I can and the opportunities I get I just try to finish each and everyone of them,” Martinez said.
Their defense, lead by the team’s co-captains goalie Alexander Perez and sweeper Anthony Aguirre, has given up 18 goals this season.
“Every single goal we have gotten scored on so far this season has been our mistake because those goals didn’t come out of plays that the opponents have worked on, they didn’t touch the ball, move the ball around or break through our lines and score the ball,” said Moreno.
“Those goals come out of situations where we have ball control and when we are trying to give a pass to our midfielders or our forwards, we miss up the pass and it ends up on the defense and they give us a counter attack and they score because they have us on our mistake,” he said.
“When we are moving our lines up and we lose the ball it’s very difficult for our team when we are attacking to switch back defensively right away so that is why we say it’s been our mistakes,” Moreno said.
“Lack of concentration and skill when it comes to giving those accurate passes, that’s what’s been hurting us in our goals,” he said.
“We are still trying to establish strong defense, but as the season moves on I think we will be very strong,” Aguirre said.
“We just need to work on communication, but as for understanding each other’s playing styles, it’s all going good,” said Perez.
RCC will host Irvine Valley on Sept. 29 to begin their first conference league game and take a chance to beat the state champions Santa Ana on Oct. 2.