Men’s Soccer: Roadrunners Suffer Season Ending Loss to College of the Desert

The 2018 Rio Hondo Men’s soccer season came to an end Saturday night as one Roadrunner eliminated another from Southern California Regionals. The visiting College of the Desert Roadrunners sprinted past the Rio Roadrunners, hosts at the campus’ athletics field, 3-2 in a frenetic playoff match.

Underdogs as the no. 10 seed, the Desert Roadrunners scored three goals that were unanswered until a late surge by no. 7 Rio narrowed the defeat. Goals in the first 10 minutes of each half by Desert midfielder Lucas Rosales blew the wind out of Rio’s sails twice.

A third was added in the 70th minute by midfielder Daniel Romero which had frustrated Rio players with their heads in their hands in disgust after going down 3-0 with their friends and family in the stands.

Rio would bite back twice with five minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late for the Roadrunners from Whittier.

“I believe that the kids gave it their best shot at the end,” Head coach Orlando Brenes said, “We had a pretty decent game, we gave up some terrible goals but I think the kids played their hearts out and I’m good with that.”

A brace from sophomore midfielder Angel Flores late in the game posed as a delayed comeback but it wasn’t enough to salvage the season for Rio.

“The season was a bit topsy-turvy in the sense that we started off very strong and then we faded. We tied some teams that we should have beat so our record should probably have been better than it is but even with our record right now, we’re over .500 and that’s the way it is sometimes.”

Rio goalkeeper Jesus Rendon, one of the seven sophomores that played their final game for the Rio Hondo men’s soccer program, was the man of the match for Rio as his key saves throughout the game kept Desert from extending the lead further.

“This season has been one crazy roller coaster we went through good and bad times,” Rendon said, “But I’m glad I was able to play with my brothers this season.”