The American River College men’s soccer team ended its season with a high-scoring 5-3 loss to Foothill Community College in the state championship’s second-round playoff on Nov. 26.
The third-ranked team in the state, the team came into the game as the second seed in the playoffs with a record of 10 wins and three losses, so expectations were high.
ARC defensive mid Jordan Moreno was disappointed, but praised the team’s season overall.
“I believe our greatest accomplishments were beating the big teams,” said Moreno. “Teams such as San Francisco, Hartnell and De Anza are very good and we were able to get good results against them.”
The scoring started early with Jessy Vega giving ARC an early advantage with a low shot after a smartly executed pass across the six-yard box.
The team’s joy quickly turned to despair after Tom Kaheli canceled out the score with a quick smash and grab goal after ARC lost possession in their own half.
Things went from bad to worse for ARC as Foothill added another three goals in a nightmarish twenty-minute spell.
The game’s intensity dropped greatly as Foothill concentrated on keeping possession of the ball. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that ARC struck back with a powerful shot from inside the 18-yard box from Matt Iwasa.
Tension grew, and in a bizarre moment Foothill player Andy Gomez found himself sent off for a vicious push against ARC’S Jordan Moreno.
The momentum stuck with the ARC players and they quickly put themselves a goal behind with five minutes before the end of regulation.
The team continued to put pressure inside Foothill’s half with a high defensive line. The tactic backfired and Foothill hit their fifth and final goal with a counter-attack finished by Robin Skarvik.
Having seen the her women’s team end its season prematurely, left back Kelsey Stilwell attended the game and was sad not to see the men go further.
“I thought the boys had a really good season,” said Stilwell. “The game was very entertaining but I wish I had got to seem go through the tie.”
Nevertheless, Moreno was disappointed in losing to teams he feels they shouldn’t have lost to. He believes it was down to lapses of concentration.
“We were mad to lose to teams we expected to beat,” said Moreno. “We were better and our spirit was always good. That’s why we are disappointed.”