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Men's soccer: Scrappy game goes to COC

Locals score two first-half goals, hold off Taft

Posted: September 7, 2010 10:36 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons’ Andres Bueno celebrates his goal in the 19th minute against Taft College on Tuesday at COC.

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It was a physical game with a controversial finish, but the College of the Canyons men’s soccer team came out on top Tuesday night at Cougar Stadium.

Taft College had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but instead found itself in a scuffle that led to a pair of red cards, as COC held on for the 2-1 win.

“It was a great win against a good team. Unfortunately it’s tarnished by a couple young guys losing their tempers at the end,” said COC head coach Phil Marcellin.

The red cards were given to COC freshman Jose Reyes and Taft head coach Angelo Cutrona at the conclusion of the game. Reyes was called for stepping on one of the Taft players while he was fighting for the ball, while Cutrona got the boot because he ran out on the field to try to break up a possible fight. COC freshman Noe Ramirez was red-carded just minutes earlier.

“We’re not here to fight, we’re here to play good soccer,” Cutrona said after the incident.

The win improved COC to 3-0-0 on the season and dropped Taft, last year’s state runner-up, to 1-1-1.

COC opened the scoring with a penalty-kick goal off the foot of sophomore Andres Bueno, last year’s leading scorer. He snuck the goal into the left corner and past a diving Emilio Mirand in the 19th minute.

COC’s second goal came in the 42nd minute with the help of two of its bench players, when freshman Jesus Salazar headed the ball in off Carlos Hernandez’s cross from 15 yards out, giving the home team a 2-0 halftime lead.

“I was impressed with our defense,” Marcellin said. “I was a little surprised to see us take it to them like that in the first half.”

In the second half, both teams saw several scoring opportunities fall short, but the Cougars held off the aggressive style of Taft.

“We created chances by running plays, and they were just more direct,” Marcellin said.

One of Taft’s best chances came early in the second half when freshman Eric Flores dribbled the ball down the left sideline with an open field. However, COC’s Adam Aristo ran him down and kicked the ball away at the last second.

Cutrona said it was plays like that which cost Taft the game.

“I think they played hard,” Cutrona said of COC’s defense. “Maybe a little bit harder than us.”

COC hits the road to face Santa Rosa Junior College on Friday and Cosumnes River College Saturday. Both games start at 4 p.m.

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