By: C. Harold Pierce
Forward Luis Venegas and defender Antonio Solis scored two goals each Oct. 15 as the Dons sunk the Orange Coast College Pirates 4-0 at Santa Ana College.
The two teams went into the game tied for first place in the Orange Empire Conference. The shutout clinched sole possession of first place for the Dons.
“It’s a huge win. We had a three game winning streak and then they [Fullerton College] ended it, so we wanted to clean up what we didn’t do in Fullerton and do it here at home,” Dons Head Coach Jose Vasquez said.
Venegas scored the first goal of the game in the 11th minute, soaring the ball into the back of the net off an assist from Leonardo Contreras.
“I was going down the line and as soon as Leo [Contreras] saw me, he stopped, just threw it outside the box, that’s when I got it,” Venegas said. “I turned and hit it right in the corner. The goalie touched it, and it just went right in.”
Venegas’ goal was the only score of the first half.
The Dons, it turns out, were warming up.
Solis added two goals of his own, scoring both times on free kicks from the sideline. They were his only two shots of the game. The first came from an indirect assist as the ball hit Venegas’ back before rolling in for
“I went through the first post trying to header the ball. At the last touch, it hit off my back and got past the goalie,” Venegas said.
Venegas’ second score of the game came in the 79th minute, capping off the victory as he netted one from inside the box off an assist from midfielder Jovanny Lopez.
But the game wasn’t all offense. The Dons defense held the Pirates at bay.
Orange Coast College took 18 shots throughout the game, but only managed to shoot five on goal.
“We made poor decisions in the box. We had some chances we didn’t take,” Pirates Head Coach Glenn Strachen said.
Freshman goalkeeper David Sorto stopped all five of the Pirates’ shots, earning a shutout in his first start.
“We’re in first by ourselves now,” Sorto said.
The Dons regular starter, Luis Trujillo, received a red card Oct. 11 at Fullerton College and was suspended for two games.
“He [Trujillo] lost his head a little bit, nothing harmful even though he has a two game suspension, but we’ve got two back-up goalies — young kids that are freshmen who I told, ‘this is your opportunity,’ and today, David [Sorto] stepped it up,” Vasquez said.
But the Dons had to tinker with its strategy to stay on top, Vasquez said.
“We sometimes forget about our game plan. We’ve been known for our possession of the ball, wearing downthe opponent … then strategize our offensive attack. But that’s something we’re not doing,” Vasquez said.
With the win, the Dons improved to 4-1-0 in the OEC and 9-3-0 overall. The shutout was the Dons second in OEC play and fourth overall.
The Dons are 8-2 in the last 10 games, including a five-game-win-streak from Sept. 13 through Oct. 8. Fullerton College broke the streak Oct. 11 with a 4-2 win at home.
The Dons face Golden West College 3 p.m. Tuesday at home.