Men’s soccer: In second shutout of season, men’s soccer earn first win

Written by Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

The Rio Hondo men’s soccer team earned a 2-0 victory over Irvine Valley College on Tuesday at Rio Hondo – keeping its shutout streak going after its first game Monday.

Following a 0-0 tie against Clovis College Monday, Tuesday’s encounter against the Irvine Valley Lasers was a much feistier affair. Freshman center back Maxwell Rodriguez was in the thick of things all evening, winning balls in the air, duels against opponents on the ground and even getting on the score-sheet through a penalty kick five minutes from time.

Rodriguez mentioned post-game that the intensity in this match forced his defense to play a higher line to win the ball high and use the team’s speed to counter-attack.

“It [scoring the penalty] feels good.” Rodriguez said, “I feel like the intensity picked up today from yesterday so we pushed our lines high and when they did attack we countered. We couldn’t finish without the pk but we earned the pks so it is what it is.”

During the second half, most of the Rio Hondo substitutes were on their feet – eager to help pull their teammates on the field to score. Clapping and cheering any chance they had. Meanwhile the Lasers bench was quiet and at ease.

Coach Orlando Brenes was quick to hail the team as a unit by expressing that the intensity was their from every player and staff member. Adding that the intensity made the difference Tuesday.

The Roadrunners went ahead in the 56th minute when Roman Delgado scored the first of two penalties earned by Rio through pressure and nuisance of the Lasers defense.

“I think the energy level was never dropped. We forced the two penalties from creating the energy level all 90 minutes.” Brenes said.

Without the passion and enthusiasm the young men showed today, the game more than likely ends 0-0 once again. A bit of hunger can push a team through games like these where it’s not as open.

The click on offense is yet to appear for the Roadrunners but other than that, tactically and mentally the guys of Rio will be proud of their display from the first two matches.

“We need to understand that we need to get better every game.” Brenes said, “After the first 20 minutes, we became more savvy than yesterday. The confidence allowed the players to play better. We’re going to work on their confidence and we’re going to do what we need to do in practice to improve on our finishing.”