By John M. Sherrard
(Sacramento, CA) A year later, the Fresno City College Men's Soccer team got its revenge on Friday against defending state champion Mt. SAC at American River College. With a 2-1 semifinal victory over the Mounties, Fresno erased the memory of the state championship loss in the 2016 state championship title game.
After a second consecutive 18-win season, the Mounties (18-6-3) fell a game short of their 10th championship-game appearance in the last 11 years.
Mt. SAC was playing in a state-record 11th consecutive final four and was aiming for a sixth state title.
In last years' championship game, the Mounties kept Fresno from scoring any goals, but this year the Rams scored first in the 34th minute after a throw-in, which ended in a header for the 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes (48th minute) into the second half, Fresno City scored again for the 2-0 lead and all the momentum in the early-going.
The Mounties weren't done as forward Sam Ponting passed to forward Andre Gamboa for the goal in the 81st minute to give Mt. SAC a chance at a possible tying goal in the final minutes.
It was only fitting that Ponting and Gamboa figured in the final goal of the season for the Mounties.
Ponting led the team in assists this season with 10 and Gamboa finished tied with forward Jose Santoyo with 12 goals.
The Mounties kept the pressure on the Rams in the final minutes of the game, especially in stoppage time when midfielder Randy De Los Santos headed a ball that hit the crossbar.
Mt. SAC will lose 11 sophomores this season, but none bigger than goalie Edwyn Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, last years state championship MVP who made the historic penalty kick stop last season, finishes his Mountie career with an amazing 24 shutouts (2 seasons).
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.