PHOTO & STORY BY: CRISTIAN SANDOVAL
Cypress College defeats Fullerton College 1-0 in their first matchup of the season.
The Chargers were coming off a draw against Moorpark College last week, and after defeating Fullerton College, Cypress remained in first place of the Orange Empire Conference with a record of 4-1-3.
Cypress had the first opportunity of the game after a free kick from approximately the 15-yard line from sophomore midfielder Paul Gonzales that managed to hit the corner of the crossbar, keeping the game all even at zero.
The Hornets had their own opportunity to open up the scoreboard after a left footed inside the box shot from sophomore forward Josh Espinoza that was blocked by freshman defender Jack Yeager in front of the goal.
What looked like to be the first goal of the game for the Hornets, the match official called an offside violation against Fullerton College sophomore forward Joseph Espinoza, after the forward was able to put the ball behind the net following a rebound that Cypress sophomore goalkeeper Alex Felix gave inside the box.
Fullerton College kept building momentum in the first half and they had another big opportunity to go up in the scoreboard after freshman forward Misael Gonzalez went one-on-one against Felix inside the box and tried to put the ball over Felixs’ head but was denied by the Chargers goalkeeper. Felix had a very busy day, as he finished the game with a total of 9 saves.
Just as the Hornets took control of the game, the Chargers missed on a great opportunity after a cross to the inside of the box by sophomore defender Logan Garcia in where Cypress’ freshman forward Brayan Justo Mazariegos was left in front of the goal but managed to put too much force in his shot and put the ball over the post.
Before the end of the first half, the Hornets sophomore forward Nima Ahmari went on a solo run of the left wing and was able to deliver a dangerous cross to the inside the box where sophomore forward Diego Anaya was left in front of the goal but luckily for the Chargers, Anayas’ shot went over the crossbar.
The majority of the last 15 minutes were played on the Chargers own half, but Cypress were able to hang on and go into halftime 0-0..
“Just were tired. We have a lot of guys that are going to come in fresh. We got to play smart. Defend well. Don’t get beat. Move the ball when we can move the ball. Find the rhythm,” said Cypress Head Coach Cristian Rus.
The beginning of the second half started just like the end of the first half, with hornets putting pressure of the Chargers but Cypress was able to come together and after a set of rebounds inside the Hornets box, Chargers sophomore forward Raymond Ramirez was able to get his shot off and was able to put it pass the Hornets freshman goalkeeper Jose Estrada, putting the Chargers up in the scoreboard 1-0.
Fullerton College showed no signs of giving up and came close to tying the game after an inside the box header from Ahmari after a fantastic cross from freshman forward Kevin Manzo but was denied by Felix, keeping the Chargers up in the game.
Fullerton began to apply even heavier pressure on Cypress but the Chargers were standing their own, defending their lead at any means necessary.
Fullerton College had a tremendous opportunity to tie the scoreboard in the final minutes of the game, after the referee called an indirect free-kick inside Cypress’ box, following Felixs’ eight second violation to get rid of the ball from his hands.
The Chargers goalkeeper was able to redeem himself by coming up with a huge save and Cypress were able to defend their lead and come up with a huge win against the Hornets.
In their last five games, the Chargers have successfully been able to win four of those games and tie one, leaving Cristian Rus pleased.
“Satisfied… we just got to be better, mature a little bit in some of the things we have to do. Hey we got to keep running. We haven’t done absolutely nothing yet. We just played some games and we have a lot to do and I’m excited for the team,” said Rus.