The Cougars men’s soccer team looks to capture their first state title against Mt. Sac. Brian Lewis has the highlights. Filmed and edited by Brian Lewis.
VALENCIA – The carriage turned into a pumpkin on the Cinderella season that was the 2010 campaign for the College of the Canyons men’s soccer team.
After major upsets to No. 3 Cerritos, No. 2 Santa Ana, and No. 1 in the North, Fresno City College, the Cougars could not pick up their fourth straight upset in the playoffs as they lost to the Mount San Antonio Mounties 4-0 in the state championship game on Sunday.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s not the ending we want but it’s just the beginning,” said head coach Phil Marcellin. “We made all the strides that we needed to make, not everything goes your way. Not all the lessons feel good, sometimes the ones that hurt the most are the ones that make you better.”
COC came out strong on their home turf at Cougar Stadium but late in the first COC freshman defender Jose Reyes tackled a Mt. Sac player in the box. Mt. Sac’s Luis Fuentes capitalized on the penalty as he slipped the penalty kick past Alex Burkevics to give the Mounties the early 1-0.
“The penalty is what it is, we’re not going to dwell on things that didn’t go our way,” said Marcellin.
The air seemed to be let out of the Cougar balloon as they were out shot 17-2 in the second half and 24-7 in the game.
“They played hard and gritty but we just ran up against the circumstances and it just didn’t work out for us and that a learning lesson,” said Marcellin.
The Mounties added three more goals within a span of 24 minutes. The state championship’s Most Valuable Player, Fuentes, wrapped up his hat trick by adding two more goals in the 53rd minute and 70th minute.
The Cougars started to lose control of the game and their emotions in the 72nd minute as they committed 7 fouls in the second half which resulted in three yellow cards and three red cards to Jesus Salazar, Victor Rodriguez and Jose Reyes.
Freshman goalie had another brilliant game in goal for the Cougars but Mt. Sac was just to tough for the defense to handle according to head coach Phil Marcellin.
“Credit them, they’re an excellent team. They won back to back state championships,” said Marcellin.
While it was a disappointing finish to an impressive 17-6-2 season that saw the Cougars on a 11 game winning streak until Sunday, the Cougars will only lose eight players next season with all but three starters returning for the 2011 season.
“In some respects it wouldn’t have been good for our progress if we win this game,” said Marcellin. “With a young team I think it’s important to produce something that’s long lasting and not somethings that’s just one and done.”
For Mt. Sac it was their second consecutive state championship.