PHOTO & STORY BY: CRISTIAN SANDOVAL
Cypress draws against Fullerton College 1-1 in their second meeting of the season.
The Chargers were looking for their third straight win after defeating Orange Coast College (5-9) and Santiago Canyon College (4-9-1). Cypress were also in search of defeating Fullerton College for the second straight time this season, after being able to pull off a 1-0 win in the Hornets own turf early on this season.
In the 14th minute of the game, the Hornets had the first opportunity of the game after an inside the box header from sophomore forward Luis Chavez-Esparza that just went past the post following a dangerous cross from the right side from freshman defender Kan Hanada.
The Chargers answered right back with an inside the box header of their own from sophomore midfielder Julio Perez that went high off the crossbar after an excellent ball to the inside of the box from freshman defender Jack Yeager.
With no clear opportunities from both sides in the middle part of the first-half, both teams battled competitively in the midfield to gain sole possession of the ball.
“It’s a battle… We just got to continue to work hard and be better in the final third, and be more clinical,” said Cypress Head Coach Cristian Rus. “We got to play more wide, use the width a lot, and be patient with the ball. I think that’s the key, to be more patient”.
The Hornets sophomore left winger Jose Luis Ruelas Jr. had a big chance to open up the scoreboard for Fullerton College in the 35th minute of the game, following his one-on-one encounter against sophomore goalkeeper Alex Felix inside the box, where Felix was able to come up with a huge save against Ruelas Jr., maintaining the game even at zero.
In the 45th minute of the first-half, sophomore defender Logan Garcia shocked everyone in the stands following his thunderous strike from approximately 30-yards out from the left side that was able to surpass freshman goalkeeper Jose Estrada, putting the Chargers ahead 1-0 at halftime.
The Chargers were close to adding to their lead in the 67th minute of the game after Perez was able to escape through the right side and strike with his left foot just outside from the Hornets box that went just over the crossbar. Keeping the game in close range for the Hornets.
In what looked like a victory in sight for the Chargers, in the 88th minute of the game, the Hornets tied the game after a long throw-in from the right side, in which freshman forward Misael Gonzalez was able to make contact with his right foot and get it past Felix to even the score 1-1.
“It felt more like a loss for us… It’s disappointing, I thought the boys played well enough to win the game… It’s unfortunate it didn’t go our way,” said Rus
With five games left in the season, the Chargers remain in the race for first place in the Orange Empire Conference as Cypress stands in third place of the OEC with a record of 7-4-4, behind second place Golden West College (8-3-4) and first place Fullerton College (8-4-4).
“Every game is a tough game… Take each game at a time. Do the little things right and focus, and we will be alright,” said Rus.