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COC Year in Review: Two directions

Posted: June 25, 2010 9:55 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2010 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons left fielder Melissa Herndon was an All-State selection and the Western State Conference, Blue Division Player of the Year. Both teams won conference titles.

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Expectations can be a funny thing, especially when asked to live up to them year after year.

Meeting them is a challenge the College of the Canyons faces consistently and during the 2009-2010 athletic year, they found mixed success.

Great seasons, players and coaches filled the headlines once again, however, it wasn't always in the way one might expect.

The traditionally powerful football program fell short of expectations, while the women's basketball team exceeded them in championship fashion.

Known for it its offensive firepower of years past, Cougar football leaned on its defense this year, yet still found itself on the outside of the playoff picture.

In contrast, COC women's hoops shook off early criticisms from within the program to win 19 straight games and a Western State Conference title.

Add Corey Honeycutt's landmark success on the track, a second straight softball conference championship, a former Cougar drafted early in the first round of the NFL Draft, and an abundance of individual awards and the Cougars had a lot to hang their hats on.

However, late collapses and missed trips to the playoffs will be firmly on the minds of many as they count down to next season.

Sept. 1
COC women's soccer begins the season with a 5-0 loss to Antelope Valley College. In her return to the Santa Clarita Valley - and first game with the Cougars - Hart High graduate Sarina Coutin records five shots on goal. Coutin set the SCV high school record for goals in a career with 104 while playing for the Indians.

Sept. 2
The COC women's volleyball team opens its season with a 3-0 loss to Irvine Valley College.

Sept. 4
Despite goals from Andres Bueno, Facundo Gomez, Pablo Gaitan and Larry Guizar, the COC men's soccer team begins the season with a 6-4 loss to Chaffey College.

Meanwhile, the women's soccer team notches its first win of the season, downing Chaffey 2-1 thanks to goals from Sarina Coutin and Ashley Hill.

Sept. 5
The College of the Canyons football team gets a standout effort from its defense to open the season with a 27-17 win over Antelope Valley College. The Cougars also begin their season-long quarterback shuffle as Justin Morales replaces starter Eric Brown during the game.

Sept. 9
Led by two goals from Jorge Serrano, COC men's soccer beats San Bernardino 4-0 for its first victory of the year.

Sept. 11
Thanks to 18 kills from Jillian Anderson, 28 assists from Ashlie Arnold and 21 digs by Kelsey Molina, COC women's volleyball beats Ventura 3-1 for its first win of the season.

Sept. 12
COC football is stunned by Santa Barbara City College 17-14. The Cougars entered the game ranked No. 5 in the state by the California Community College Football Coaches Association, while Santa Barbara was unranked.

Sept. 19
COC football rebounds from its shocking loss to Santa Barbara with a 59-7 rout over Los Angeles Valley College.

Sept. 26
COC football gets another strong defensive effort to beat Fullerton College 26-13.

Sept. 28
Led by Jennifer Kim's 82, COC women's golf wins its first Western State Conference match. The Cougars shoot a 345 as a team, while then-first-place Bakersfield finished with a 349 to take second.

Oct. 3
COC football can't convert on multiple drives that end inside the 5-yard line and falls 19-16 to undefeated Allan Hancock College.

Oct. 11
After a school-record three interceptions by Kalen Powell and a sharp offense led by Justin Morales, COC scores 21 fourth-quarter points and improves to 4-2 on the season with a 31-17 win over Moorpark College.

Oct. 18
Having registered only five carries all season, running back Anthony Johnson scores the Cougars' only offensive touchdown in a 14-6 win over Glendale College.

Oct. 25
Too many turnovers doom COC football as the team falls 23-6 to Ventura College.

Nov. 7
After a week off, COC football returned to the field with a 29-22 overtime win over Pasadena City College. In overtime, Justin Morales finds wide receiver Stephen London, a Valencia graduate, for a 20-yard touchdown and standout Cougars linebacker Evan Harrington seals the game with an interception. It was the second year in a row the Cougars beat PCC in overtime.

The Cougars men's basketball team opens its season with a 73-54 win over East Los Angeles College at the Clash of the Canyons basketball tournament. Hart High grad Parker Dominguez leads the way with 18 points.

Nov. 13
COC women's soccer ends its season with a 2-1 loss to Bakersfield College. The Cougars' final record is 9-8-5 overall.

Nov. 14
COC football ends the regular season with a 24-9 loss to rival Bakersfield College. The Cougars miss the state playoffs, but are still selected to play in the Western State Bowl.

Nov. 17
COC women's volleyball ends its season with a three-game sweep of Citrus College. The Cougars finish the regular season with a 16-7 overall record and a 10-2 conference mark.

Nov. 18
After losing its first two games of the season, the largely unheralded COC women's basketball team notches its first win of the year, beating Long Beach City College 92-60.

Nov. 21
COC football falls 31-20 to Saddleback College in the Western State Bowl to end a disappointing season with a 6-5 record.

Nov. 25
After beating Santa Barbara 2-1 in the first round of the California Community College Athletics Association Men's Soccer Southern Regional playoffs, the Cougars dispense of top-seeded Rio Hondo College 4-2 in the second round thanks to two goals apiece from Andres Bueno and Pablo Gaitan.

Nov. 28
COC men's soccer sees its season come to an end after a strong run in the CCCAA Men's Soccer Southern Regional playoffs, losing 4-0 to Santa Ana College in the third round. The Cougars finish 14-7-2 on the season.

Dec. 12
Greg Herrick wins his 400th game as the head coach of the COC women's basketball team with a 76-72 win over Mt. San Antonio College. Hart High graduate Kelli Lewis leads all scorers with 22 points. The victory sparks a 19-game straight.

Jan. 6
Led by 18 points from Hart High graduate Brian Kimble, the Cougars men's basketball team wins its Western State Conference opener 73-62 over West Los Angeles College.

The women's basketball team also beats West L.A. in its conference opener 81-58, thanks to 14-point performances from Samantha Cross, Joslynn Frazier, Dominique Turner and Ashley Mason.

Feb. 1
COC softball sweeps a season-opening doubleheader with Santiago Canyon by scores of 2-1 and 10-3.

Feb. 3
Cougars offensive lineman Louiszell Alexander signs his letter of intent to play for Syracuse, while Evan Harrington signs with Colorado, Mychel Rivera commits to Tennessee and Valencia graduate Josh Gibbs signs with Kentucky to round out the football players headed to the NCAA Division I ranks.

Feb. 11
Powered by home runs from right fielder Cal Vogelsang and second baseman Nico Moreno, COC baseball notches its first victory of the season with a 4-2 win over East Los Angeles College.

Feb. 16
COC baseball knocks off defending state champion Orange Coast College with a 15-9 win. The Cougars pound out 20 hits in the game.

Feb. 20
COC men's basketball falls 73-68 to Citrus College in its season finale. The Cougars miss the playoffs and finish the season 13-15 overall and 5-7 in conference play.

Feb. 27
After an undefeated title-run in the WSC and a 19-game winning streak, the COC women's basketball team is ousted in the first round of the Southern California Regionals 68-66 by Los Angeles Trade Tech.

March 3
After averaging 18.6 points 12.9 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game, sophomore forward Ashley Wakefield is named the California Community College Women's Basketball Coaches Association Co-Player of the Year. It is the first time a COC women's basketball player earns the award.

March 4
Ruby Herrera racks up six RBIs and Alexis Caso adds five RBIs to power COC softball 26-0 over Santa Monica College in its conference opener.

March 9
After losing to Los Angeles Valley College 6-5 in its conference opener, COC baseball avenges the defeat and beats the Monarchs 5-2.

March 14
COC hockey takes fifth place at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men's Division III National Championship tournament after falling to eventual-champion Saginaw Valley State 4-1.

April 12
West Ranch graduate Collin Wheeler's 2-under 70 at the Santa Maria Country Club helps COC men's golf to its seventh Western State Conference victory of the season.

April 19
COC men's golf wins its final conference match of the season, led by Valencia graduate Alex Macaluso's 72 at Oakmont Country Club. Macaluso's performance was the low score on the day.

April 20
The COC softball team splits a doubleheader with Bakersfield, but its enough to claim its second consecutive conference championship.

April 22
Former Cougar defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul is drafted No. 15 overall by the New York Giants in the NFL Draft.

April 26
The men's golf team wins its 16th conference title with a first-place finish at the Western State Conference Championships. COC amasses a 50-10 record and Collin Wheeler, Dominic Lingua and Dino Giacomazzi all earn All-WSC honors.

COC swimming breaks three school records at the WSC Championships as both the men's and women's team finish sixth overall. The 200-yard medley relay team of Courtney Smith, Leanna Walter, Taylor Bellina and Kaley Meister broke the school record in the event with a time of 1 minute, 59.72 seconds, while the 400-yard medley relay team of Patrick Reed, Billy Kutylo, Jimmy Karren and Matt Pallady set a new school mark in 3:49.77 and John Luppens swam the 1,650 freestyle with a school-best time of 17:31.33.

April 29
COC baseball finishes the year with a 15-14 win over Citrus, but it isn't enough to save the season. After a late slump sends the Cougars spiraling down the conference standings, COC fails to make the playoffs and finishes with an 18-16 record.

May 3
Cougars softball loses 9-8 to Grossmont in the first round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs. It is the team's second straight loss and ousts the Cougars from the postseason. COC finishes the season with a 28-13 overall record.

May 11
West Ranch graduate and COC softball standout Melissa Herndon is named an All-American, first-team All-State and the WSC Player of the Year, while Ruby Herrera earns All-American and All-Southern California honors. Saugus graduate Ashley Imperial makes the All-State team and wins Conference Pitcher of the Year and head coach John Wissmath is named WSC Coach of the Year.

Hugo Hernandez, Cal Vogelsang, Nico Moreno and Tyler Pugmire lead the Cougars in postseason awards, earning first-team All-WSC honors. Joe Perez, Brian Kernochan and Sean Gavin are named honorable mentions.

May 22
Golden Valley graduate Corey Honeycutt wins the 800-meter run in 2:15.93 at the CCCAA Track and Field State Championships. Mario Wright takes 10th in the decathlon and Ashley Mason places 10th in the high jump at the event. Honeycutt is the first woman in COC history to win an individual state title and third athlete overall. She is later named the WSC Track Athlete of the Year.

June 9
Cal Vogelsang is selected in the 37th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

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