Men’s Soccer pushing for playoffs

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By Javier Cabrera / Sports Editor

Focus on the game (Feliciano Gonzalez / Staff Photographer)

By Javier Cabrera / Sports Editor

Going all out to finish the season the Riverside City College men’s soccer team loses three straight games as the soccer season is close to an end.

After losing a game they should have won against Irvine Valley and giving them their first conference win, the Tigers had a rematch against a tough Santa Ana team.

Riverside had revenge in their minds after they lost a disappointing game in Santa Ana that ended the game in a brawl.

In the past years Santa Ana has owned Riverside winning five of the last six meetings dating back to the 2007 season.

In the game on Oct. 27 Santa Ana showed they own Riverside after scoring three unanswered goals in the first half and winning the game 5-2.

With two critical conference losses, the Tigers dropped their third consecutive loss to Fullerton 2-1 on Oct. 30.

“In all three games we had more chances than the other teams of scoring but we just couldn’t put those goals in,” said coach Jose Angel Moreno.

With the three conference losses, Riverside are less likely to win the Orange Empire Conference.

Riverside’s defense has improved, since the team lost games because they gave lazy passes that led the opponents to score easy goals.

Riverside has three games left in their season, one against Orange Coast, Golden West and Santiago Canyon.

 Riverside has 15 points and are currently tied in fourth place with Fullerton in the conference.

“The conference has been really close all season so we have to take every game like it’s ‘win or go home,’ but we should be ok win a couple of more wins,” said Moreno.

Riverside has played all three remaining teams once during the season already, beating Orange Coast, 7-4, and Santiago Canyon, 2-1, while losing to Golden West 2-0.

“We are going to train specifically on each game individually and work on how each team played against us in the first game we played each other,” Moreno said.

Riverside rebounded strong playing with a impressive and needed win against Cypress in a 4-1 win on Nov. 3.

“Cypress is not one of the strongest teams in the conference, but are one of the teams that have been getting the wins and ties,” Moreno said. “Comparing them to the rest of the conference they have been one of the weakest teams we have played this season.”

Despite the rollercoaster season, Riverside expects to make the playoffs based on the power rankings they’ll receive from the state standings after the season ends.

“As long as we can keep the motivation for the team, we are going to go ahead and do a good job on these last three teams who are going to be a little tougher,” Moreno said.

Banged up by the injury bug there are many players who are playing injured including forward Alvaro Mendoza who is still not fully recovered from his injury.

With a current overall record of 10-7-1 and a conference record of 5-6-0, there has been some individual players making a name for themselves.

Riverside’s forward Jimmy Martinez leads the conference with 31 goals and 16 assists, forward Mendoza has 9 goals and midfielder Edgar Gomez has 15 assist as the team combined for 60 goals and 61 assists so far this season.

Heading into the final two weeks of the season, the current standings show Santa Ana has a greater chance winning the conference, since they are in first place with 26 points.

Golden West with 22 points is in second place and Orange Coast with 17 points is in third place.

Being in one of the toughest conferences in California, Riverside hopes to be one of possibly four teams to make the playoffs from the conference.

Racing into the playoffs (Feliciano Gonzalez / Staff Photographer)

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