Walking off the pitch after a 4-0 shut-out of Cypress College on Tuesday at College of the Canyons, the Cougars were all business after the season-opening win.
“Everything depends on your training,” said Canyons’ sophomore midfielder Cesar Dominguez. “If we work hard in practice and do exactly what we were taught in the game, we should have good results every time, just like we did today.”
Opening up the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Canyons head coach Philip Marcellin wanted his team to be aggressive and push up early by putting pressure on their defense.
At about seven minutes into the game, Canyons midfielder Jose Luis Ruiz made a run down the right flank catching Cypress’ defense off guard forcing one of their defenders to foul Ruiz, for a yellow card, just outside of the 18-yard box.
Canyons (1-0) had set the tone. They were going to attack in waves.
Taking turns, Jorge Rojas, Ruiz and Christopher Alomia made run after run down the left flank and through the middle of the pitch catching the Cypress defenders on their heels time after time, but still, the scoreboard didn’t show the effort.
Until the 20th minute, when the Cougars would have their second chance at a free kick.
Lining up at almost the same position that the first free-kick was taken, Rojas took a couple steps back, took a deep breath and sent the ball rocketing of his right foot and into the top-right corner of the goal.
“I saw my opportunity,” Rojas said. “I usually take free kicks, but I’ve been practicing them for a while now so I just took my free kick like any other free kick.”
With about three minutes left in the half, the Cougars got another opportunity after Dominguez got loose behind the Cypress back line and forced the Cypress goalkeeper to come out and foul him, forcing a penalty kick.
The shot went wide left as Dominguez fooled the goalie, but he couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
At the half, Canyons led 1-0.
In the 52nd minute, Dominguez would get another opportunity to score. This time there was a different result.
Making a run down the right side of the pitch, Canyons’ Tyler Jovel crossed a ball into the middle Cypress’ 18-yard box finding a springing Dominguez, who made the most of this opportunity and put the ball in the bottom right corner for the goal.
Canyon led 2-0.
”It’s just a penalty to me”, Dominguez said. “If I make or miss no matter what I’m still going to go all out. Yeah, I let it go, but I put it behind me and I never gave up and I scored.”
Smelling blood in the air, the Cougars and kept attacking. Seven minutes after the second goal, Canyons’ midfielder Justin Marquez found the back of the net after Dominguez crossed the ball into the 18-yard box where Rojas and Marquez stood waiting.
As if Rojas and Marquez had drawn it up, Rojas faked the shot and let the ball roll to the feet of a waiting Marquez who collected himself and scored.
Byron Perez added another insurance goal in the 75th minute, placing a beautifully struck ball, with the outside of his left foot, in the bottom right corner of the goal.
Integrating a mix of new and experienced players the Cougars were too much for the Chargers in the 4-0 win.
“These players are really coachable and smart,” Marcellin said. “We make one or two points at halftime and they went out and applied them really well so I think that’s it. We are going to put together a couple of training sessions and watch some tape and maybe make some adjustments.”
The Cougars’ next game is against Palomar College at Palomar at 7 p.m on Friday.