Men’s soccer falls to Taft College 4-1

The men’s soccer team came up short against the Taft College Cougars on Oct. 14.

Led by sophomore midfielder Angel Garcia, Taft College displayed a potent offense and were able to put four goals in the back of the net, including two by Garcia.

“This isn’t a big loss because it’s non-conference,” said Hawks’ sophomore forward Marek Albert, who scored the only goal for the Hawks. “But we want to win every game.”

Taft College came out firing early, manufacturing two chances on goal in the beginning minutes of the game.

The Cougars were able to break through in the seventh minute of the game, after a foul in the box led to a Taft penalty kick.

The Cougars added another goal on a through pass to sophomore defender Zayd Flores who broke through the Hawks’ defense with his speed. He sneaked the ball into the bottom right corner of the net and gave Taft their second goal of the game.

“We are struggling with the teams that are like us and above us,” Hawks’ head coach Ron Preble said.

But the Hawks answered back when Albert capitalized on a Cougar mistake. He stole the ball away from Taft, dribbled around freshman goalkeeper Jorge Flores and scored.

“He tried to cut it back, I got my foot on it poked it away and was able to finish,” Albert said.

After almost 10 minutes of back and forth play, Taft added their third goal on a second penalty by the Hawks. Freshman defender Cesar Sosa committed a foul in the box and received a yellow card, resulting in another penalty kick and a goal for Garcia.

The first half ended with a commanding 3-1 Taft College lead.

“We’ve started to pick it up lately, we’ve been attacking more and our defense has held steady,” freshman Taft goalkeeper Jorge Flores said.

The second half began with back and forth possession and a few chances on goal for both the Hawks and Cougars.

The action remained a stalemate until the middle of the second half, when the Hawks committed another foul just outside the goalie box.

Freshman forward Andy Reyes lined up the free kick and struck the ball into the back of the net, giving the Cougars their fourth goal of the evening.

“We gave up three bad goals on mistakes,” Preble said. “When you do that you aren’t going to win.”

The Hawks were not able to answer back even after a few near goals on crosses into the box.

“This win means a lot for us,” Flores said. “Any win we get helps us gain more confidence.”

The Hawks fell to 7-5-1 overall and 2-1-1 against rhe Big 8. They are tied for second place in the conference with American River College and will look to rebound from the loss in future games.

“There is a few things we can take and learn from this game,” Preble said.

“We tried something new to help our defense, but we are still making the same mistakes.”

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