The Dons scored a late winner on Sep. 13 to complete the comeback against San Bernardino Valley Wolverines with a final score of 3-2. The game-winning goal came from sophomore defender Antonio Wall who netted his first goal of the season. This win was impressive for the Dons as both the head coach Jose Vasquez and assistant coach Osvaldo Hernandez were suspended due to receiving red cards in the previous away match.
Led by assistant coach Colin Smith, the Dons fell behind in the score by two goals from the Wolverines. The first goal from the away team came after the Dons failed to clear a cross from the Wolverine’s attackers. Sophomore goalkeeper Jorge Cortes saved the first goal attempt, but the ball fell into the Wolverine’s foot who just pushed the ball into the goal.
The second goal for the visiting team came in the 40th minute from a poor possession in the midfield from the Dons. The Wolverines were quick with a counterattack and caught the Dons backpedaling to defend. From outside the penalty box, the Wolverines forward struck the ball into the top left corner. Leaving Cortes with no chance to save the Dons.
“In the first half we just got beat to the first and second balls because of a lack of intensity,” said Wall.
The Dons managed to respond just before the half ended with a goal from sophomore forward Josue Martinez. After an attack from the left side, Martinez found the cross inside the box. He then beat the defender and struck the ball with his left foot to put the ball into the top left half of the goal.
The Dons used that momentum going into the half to shut out the Wolverines in the second half.
“Coach Smith told us to use the momentum of our late first-half goal to set the tone in the second half,” said Wall. “He also told us to remember the program that we’re representing and to wear the shirt with pride.”
In the 55th minute, the Dons equalized the match with another goal from Martinez. Coming from a corner kick that was served by freshman defender Daniel Tolmasoff from the left corner. Tolmasoff found Martinez in the middle of the box who then headed the ball into the second post.
The game-winning goal came in the 87th minute for the Dons. Freshman midfielder Isaac Pineda took a free kick from the half field and put the ball into the Wolverines 18 yard box. The defender from the visiting team failed to clear the ball out of danger and left the ball just inside the top of their box. At the top of the box, Wall managed to quickly control the ball with his left foot and set himself up with a right-footed shot. The ball curved into the side net of the goal beating the Wolverine’s diving goalkeeper. With a clean strike like that you would think that Wall is the Dons main striker.
With this comeback win, the Dons hold a record of 3-2-1. Their next home game will see them match up against LA Harbor on Sept. 16.