Men’s soccer: Rio takes down San Bernardino Valley

Written by Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

Tuesday night the Rio Hondo men’s soccer squad continued its undefeated start to 2018 by defeating the San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines 2-1 at Rio Hondo’s soccer field.

A late goal by Freshman forward Phuc Nguyen put the Roadrunners in front with just nine minutes remaining.

Following Nguyen’s goal, closing out the game did not come easy as the Wolverine attack included three clear chances on goal. Goalkeeper for the home side Sophomore Jesus Rendon, who had not played a match since the season opener, stood tall – mostly when San Bernardino forward Ramon Nuñez was slipped in for a break away in stoppage time.

Nuñez’s attempted chip looked to be above and beyond Rendon, but the Sophomore’s extended arm managed to get enough of a finger tip on the ball to deflect it out of bounds. The game-winning save earned the Roadrunners a satisfying victory and its goalkeeper player of the game honors.

“These past few games since I haven’t been playing, it’s been building fire inside of me.” Rendon said post-match while reflecting on the day before when head coach Orlando Brenes told him he would be the start against the Wolverines.

“I had to mentally prepare myself. It’s my time. I have to play a great game. That was going through my head. I just took advantage of my time and this is what I can do.” Rendon finished.

The scoring for Rio began when substitute Sophomore midfielder Ricky Sotelo pounced on a loose ball inside the box and slammed the shot past Wolverines netminder Luis Enriquez.

After halftime, San Bernardino would equalize through a Gabriel Sosa goal that came against the run of play.

Following Sosa’s goal, the Roadrunners would put its best foot forward as possession began to lean their way. It took a hanging cross into the box from freshman defender Alfredo Gutierrez to create enough chaos in the box for Nguyen to prevail with a header into the goal.

“I heard the keeper coming out but I felt he wasn’t going to be able to reach it, so I jumped up and hit the ball.” Nguyen said, ““[Scoring] it feels great.”