By Diana Viera
With only four sophomores on the men’s soccer team, the Dons are turning to several freshmen to improve on its 11-7-4 record from 2014.
“We want to start strong in our conference and hopefully make the playoffs and of course from there hopefully we go to the final four,” Head Coach Jose Vasquez said.
Through three games this season, the record stands at 1-1-1, including a 2-1 loss to Rio Hondo Tuesday at home in 119-degree heat on the playing surface.
Last year, the Dons finished in fourth place in the Orange Empire Conference with a 7-6-1 record.
The Dons were booted out of the first round by a 4-1 loss to Golden West College in last year’s playoffs.
“I think to me, as a coach, we’re the better team on paper. We need to put that on the field and you know because we’re not doing that,” Vasquez said.
The team led the OEC with 222 shots, 110 corner kicks, and eight shutouts during the 2014 season.
This year the Dons already have 44 shots, nine corner kicks, and one shutout through three games.
Freshman forward David Yepes is tied for the team lead with two goals on 12 shots, including five shots on goal.
Freshmen midfielder Dong Beom Seo is tied with Yepes with two goals on five shots and four shots on goal. Seo is the first Don to convert on a penalty kick this season.
“We just have to take one day at a time and keep working with these kids,” Vazquez said.
This year’s squad features five international students, including two from South Korea and one each from Mexico, Germany and Iran. One more than last year’s team.