In a physical, heated battle, Santa Ana men’s soccer outdueled Long Beach City by a final of 2-0.
The first half was choppy. There were a total of 12 fouls. Two of which were yellow cards. Both cards happened within two minutes around the 30-minute mark.
Long Beach City chirped at the referees loudly, while the fans were heard from the other side of the field.
The time of possession for both teams in the first half was even.
With 14 minutes left in the half, goalkeeper Pablo Rea sent a long outlet to midfielder Marck Rayo. Rayo beat his man off the dribble and sent a crosser into the box, where fellow midfielder Gilbert Gomez was waiting.
Gomez landed one soft touch, squared his hips to the goal, and scored.
“As a striker, you try to know when the balls are coming to the box. I knew he was going to cross it. I whiffed at first, but then tapped it in,” said Gomez. “It felt good, the first goal of the season.”
One goal was all the Dons needed to put away the Vikings, but they didn’t stop at one.
The Vikings came out during the second half angry and aggressive. They held the offensive zone for nearly the entire half, but couldn’t capitalize.
After a failed header attempt by the Vikings, the Dons sent two quick outlets and were on a breakaway. Midfielder Edward Newbhard drew his defender to the corner and sent a crosser to his sprinting teammate Michael Mierzwa, who tapped in the second goal of the game.
“We made sure our defensive play was best and then worked from there,” said Mierzwa. “Any pockets for counter attacks, that’s where we wanted to pounce on them, and we did.”
This was the Dons second shutout of the season and their second win. They sit at 2-2-1 and next play San Bernardino Valley College on Friday, Sept. 15.