(Walnut, CA) For the thirteenth consecutive year, the Mt. SAC Men's Soccer Team has advanced to the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Finals, with a 2-1 overtime win over visiting Santa Ana College Tuesday (Nov. 26).
Sophomore forward Gerardo Cazares, who is tied for eighth in the state with 15 goals, scored both goals for the Mounties.
His second goal came in the first overtime in the 105th minute, to give the Mounties the 2-1 win. They held on in the second OT, not allowing a goal.
"Jerry (Gerardo Cazares) has been clutch this year," Mt. SAC coach Juan Sanchez said. "He was in the right place at the right time. We're very happy for him because he's been one of those kids that's just a humble, hard-working kid and it's paying off for him."
With the win, the Mounties keep their streak going to begin a season without a loss and improve to 20-0-3, while the Dons end their season at 10-7-5.
Mt. SAC will host No. 4 Seed El Camino, a 4-1 winner over No. 5 Seed Orange Coast College,on Saturday (Nov. 30) at 2:00 pm. El Camino and Mt. SAC played to a 1-1 tie in South Coast Conference action earlier in the month.
The hotly-contested soccer match between an upstart No. 9 Seed Santa Ana team and the No. 1 Seed Mounties was all defense in the first half, with both teams being turned away multiple times by their respective goalies.
In the second minute, the Mounties had a chance to take an early lead after sophomore forward Angel Santoyo fed sophomore midfielder Herminlo Padilla, who took a shot that was just over the crossbar.
"Both teams had great opportunities and we kept up our edge and we had our own and luckily I was the one to put them in," Cazares said.
"Luckily I was right there to get the rebound to put it in to get the 2-1 lead," Cazares said.
Mt. SAC appeared to have the game won in regulation, though, after a late goal in the 89th minute. Santoyo fed Cazares, who shot and scored the initial goal.
"Brandon (Pineda) slid the (Santa Ana) player with a great tackle and Angel (Santoyo) got the ball and played me through and I was one-on-one against the goalie and I faked him out and just put it in," Cazares added.
"With this team, we have the potential to make it far with the bench and starters."
Santa Ana, however, came right back and tied the game a minute later to send it into overtime.
On the tying goal by Santa Ana, it was a scramble that ended with a quick score.
"The ball was just bouncing and it was a good shot and good goal," Hernandez said. "Every team is now coming after us and the name Mt. SAC is why.
"We just have to get ready for Saturday and go hard."
Sanchez reflected on the recent Mt. SAC slow starts in its games.
"It's the playoffs and you need to grind it out and the first half we were flat," he said. "We've had very slow starts in the last two games (2-1 SCC Tournament win over Cerritos and 6-2 first round playoff win over Norco) and so for us it's something we have to work ourselves out of it. This is the playoffs and at the end of the day you learn your lessons and you got to learn how to grind games out.
"There's a little bit of responsibility that goes with wearing the Mt. SAC jersey."
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.