Eighteen consecutive OEC Championships


Game date: November 8, 2011.

Santa Ana College freshman forward Gonzalo Toledo scored the deciding goal against Irvine Valley College Tuesday in the 48th minute. The Dons defeated the Lasers, 1-0, for 18th consecutive Orange Empire Conference championship.

“It is the greatest feeling in my life,” Toledo said. “We bust our butts and it has paid off.”

The goal came off of a free kick in the opening minutes of the second half.

“Joshua Lagunas and I made eye contact, so I knew the ball was coming,” Toledo said. “The ball was at my head. I just flicked back and it went in.”

The first half revolved around defense. Neither team yielded chances for the opponent to create offensive attacks.

“We wanted to fatigue and frustrate them,” Head Coach Jose Vasquez said. “They are dangerous as a team, but when they play individual soccer we have the advantage.”

The game had the biggest fan turnout of the season, exhibiting the importance of the match.

“It has been a few years since we were able to clinch the conference at home,” Vasquez said. “It felt good to win in front of our fans.”

The victory helped build momentum as the team looks to improve its ranking going into the playoffs. The first round begins Nov. 19.

“We want to win state,” Toledo said.

The Dons’ final conference game of the season is Friday, as the team visits the Golden West Rustlers. The last time the two teams met, the game ended in a 2-0 victory for SAC on Oct. 18.

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