Chasing the Title

Championship Hopes / Midfielder Jose Lopez out jumps a Norco defender for a header Oct. 31 at home. / Jorge Campos / el Don
Championship Hopes / Midfielder Jose Lopez out jumps a Norco defender for a header Oct. 31 at home. / Jorge Campos / el Don
With one home game left, the conference’s top spot remains unclaimed

By Jorge Campos and Jaime Buenaventura

Despite an ankle injury to goalkeeper Dennis Hernandez early in the second half, the Dons won 3-1 over visiting Norco College on Halloween, keeping the team’s title hopes alive.

“We still have an opportunity to win our conference, but we need to battle to get through these last two weeks,” Head Coach Jose Vasquez said.

Santa Ana College defender Gary Carbajal struck first as he slipped past the Mustang defense in the 10th minute and netted an assist from midfielder Francisco Vasquez.

Midfielder Uriel Rebollar booted his second goal of the season 14 minutes later on an assist from defender Ivan Bastida.

Hernandez injured his ankle early in the second half and forward Jorge Muratalla filled in for the final 26 minutes of the game.

“I don’t know how serious his injury is but the guy has been battling through injuries every game. He never says no,” Vasquez said.

The Mustangs scored its only goal in the 71st minute, about five minutes after Hernandez sustained an injury, on a penalty kick.

Muratalla palmed the kick but couldn’t complete the save as the ball rolled into the net.

“Our goal is to move the ball up as quick as we can, whether it’s the starting goalkeeper or backup,” Mustangs Head Coach Francisco Melgarejo said.

Norco did not get another shot off in the game as SAC controlled the ball for most of the second half, putting six shots on goal to close out the game. Forward Anthony Saldana tapped in a trailer from forward Omar Perez for the Dons final goal of the game.

The Dons play its final home match of the season today at 3 p.m.


Coaches Say

[quote] We got two goals on trailers. That’s our bread and butter. We have been doing that for decades here at Santa Ana.-Jose Vasquez, Dons Coach[/quote]

[quote]One of the things I applaud is they don’t stop hustling. They give it 100 percent every play. Our team doesn’t do that.-Franciso Melgarejo, Norco Coach[/quote]

[quote] I ran through the middle and got a trailer from Omar and got it in. They were attacking well but we did our best to score.- Anthony Saldana, Dons Forward[/quote]

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