(Walnut, CA) Scoring three goals in each half, the Mt. SAC offense exploded for a 6-0 win over visiting College of the Desert Tuesday night in the CCCAA Southern California Regional Semi Finals.
The #2 Seed Mounties (17-3-3) now advance to their 12th consecutive So Cal Finals and will host #6 Seed Golden West College (14-5-3) on Saturday at 5:00 pm. Golden West advance with the win over #3 Seed Fullerton on penalty kicks (1-1). The winner will advance to the state championship at Ventura College November 30- December 2.
"To be honest with you, it's been a stressful two or three days because we felt that this was a very good team with a lot of intensity," Mt. SAC coach Juan Sanchez said.
"(In the game) we took their intensity away by scoring the goals.
"The thing about the playoffs, are the unknowns, the guys that need to step up and James (Coe) and Omar (Alcala), I'm proud of everyone for getting involved.
"We're proud of our guys and their believing in team and family I enjoy that part of it."
Forward Giovanny Garcia got the goal-outburst started in the 7th minute with a shot from the top of the 18-yard box for the 1-0 lead. Garcia is fourth in the state with his 20th goal of the season.
Most of the first half was dominated by the Mounties as they put constant pressure on the Roadrunners' defense in the attacking third with seven shots.
Mt. SAC finished with 19 shots on goal in the game.
Not until late in the half did Mt. SAC begin to break open the game with two goals in a four-minute span.
"It all starts from being disciplined and true to our team," Piceno said. "We just have to work together and we don't plan on scoring six goals, but keep working until the last whistle blows."
Acala (James Coe) finished the first-half scoring in the 43rd minute and the romp was on for the Mounties.
The Mounties defense, again led by Tristan Sprague and Jacob Sowder, created havoc for Desert as they didn't get their first shot until the 16-minute mark. The Roadrunners had only three first-half shots and only five in the game.
Alcala (Raygoza) gave Mt. SAC an insurmountable, 4-0 lead in the 67th minute after a scramble in front of the net, followed by a shot from the right side that went right through the keepers hands for the score.
The Mounties were far from finished as they kept the offensive pressure up and scored two more goals in a five-minute span near the end of the game.
Goalkeeper Alain Hernandez recorded his fourth solo shutout and fourth combined shutout of the season.
"It's an honor to be recording the shutouts," Hernandez said. "My defense is a hard-working team and it's not just the credit on me. We have to give them the credit because they never give up."
Hernandez has played for the L.A. Galaxy Academy and has been in the playoffs in the national championship.
"I'm getting that feeling again when I was playing during that time," Hernandez added.
And oh, what a feeling it is as the Mounties aim to advance to their 12th consecutive state championship final four.
Follow Mt. SAC Men's Soccer on twitter @MtSAC_MSoccer
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.