Beginning the game with a fast pace, the College of the Canyons men’s soccer team held their own against Western State Conference Division’s Bakersfield College at College of the Canyons on Tuesday.
Creating scoring opportunities by the bunches in the first half, Canyons just couldn’t keep up the intensity for the full 90 minutes, falling 2-0 to Bakersfield.
“I would say to keep going hard from the start and finish until the end,” said Canyons’ Tyler Jovel. “Overall, I think there is always room for improvement but we just need to keep up the intensity. I think that’s something that we have always lacked but it could be fixed for the next upcoming games.”Canyons’ first scoring opportunity came just seven minutes into the game when midfielder Cesar Dominguez took control of the ball just inside the Bakersfield half. He faked and juked his way into the 18-yard box, getting fouled and setting up a free kick.
Using the counterattack to their advantage, the Renegade Knights, time and time again kept trying to make through passes connecting the defense with the Alejandro Guzman, Omar Reyes and Jorge Pimentel, but with every chance Canyons’ defenders, Jake Erazo and Steven Bobadilla kept denying their attacks.
In the 22nd minute of the game, a streaking Dominguez tried to head in a ball that was crossed into the middle of the 18-yard box and went wide right to the dismay of the Cougars (6-4-4 overall, 3-0-2 in WSC).
Dominguez collected a pass on the right side of the pitch and crossed it into the middle where Andres Lozano was waiting. Making contact with the ball with his head, Lozano’s header attempt bounced off the left post and into the Bakersfield goalkeeper’s hands. With just about six minutes left in the half, Bakersfield (7-4-4, 2-0-3) had it’s truest scoring attempt as Edgar Gonzalez crossed a ball in the goalie box, finding a leaping Jose Lara for the header.
Canyons finished with 11 shots on goal compared to four for Bakersfield. Two minutes into the second half, Bakersfield’s Jesus Barajas hit a 25-yard strike the went bouncing past Cougars goalie Gabriel Ochoa to give Bakersfield the 1-0 lead.
Ramping up the pressure, waves of Cougars took turns making runs and trying to catch the Bakersfield defenders defense off guard.
Sophomore defender Tyler Jovel went down with an apparent knee injury 11 minutes into the second half and required assistance off the field.
With 22 minutes left, the Cougars lined up for a free kick that Steven Bobadilla was able to make contact with, but was saved by the Bakersfield goalie.
Christian Gonzalez sealed the win for Bakersfield with 13 minutes left in the game after a mad scramble ensued for the ball inside the goalie box with Gonzalez collecting the ball and putting it past Ochoa.
“Good news is, we are still ahead of them, worst case scenario Citrus wins tonight and we are tied going into the next round so we are still in first place,” said Canyons head coach Philip Marcellin. “Now we have to be resilient and try to play with more passion.”
The Cougars get another chance at a win this week against Citrus College at Citrus at 3 p.m.