The Fullerton College men’s soccer team snuck past the Cypress Chargers, 3-2, in a game that the Hornets expected to win in a landslide.
FC usually expects nothing short of perfection, but they had to in this game.
Cypress’s Shawn Hansen also expected perfection out of his play and might have willed his team to the win if not for a sudden injury. Scoring two goals on the day, Hansen’s game would end early as he and Jose Montez De Oca connected on a violent collision.
“I ran in and tried to head the ball but it was a fifty-fifty ball and we just met in the middle,” said Hansen, who suffered deep cuts on his cheek and left eye lid.
After today’s 3-2 win the Hornet’s (8-3-1) improved to second in the Orange Empire Conference standings while the Chargers (3-6-3) dropped to one game ahead of last place.
The Hornet’s got off to a quick start in the first half with an impressive unassisted goal by Manuel Juarez. Juarez received the perfect inbounds pass in Charger territory but it was his creative dribbling that shook defenders off him.
A clear path ahead, and only the goalie to beat, Juarez bounced his shot into an empty net to put Fullerton on top 1-0. But the lead would not hold for long as Hansen would give the Hornets everything they could handle and more.
His first goal knotted the game at 1 apiece, scoring it almost moments after the Fullerton goal. Cypress made a strong bid for an upset but fell just short.
“The biggest thing was trying to hustle and play hard,” Hansen said. “I tried to pressure them and be aggressive at all costs. I had to look for my spots”
With the match at a standstill Cypress would break first making a critical mistake as Andres Rodriguez committed a hand ball penalty. That set up the Hornet’s De Oca with the attempt.
De Oca’s shot found its home with a laser kick in the lower right hand corner of the goal to put them up 2-1 at the end of the half.
With visible frustration on the Fullerton sideline due to his team’s imperfect play, Hansen would only add to their woes as he again tied the out of the break. But that would be his last prick in the Hornet’s side as he would leave the game due to his injuries.
Fullerton would take advantage of Hansen’s absence as they would score once more to take a 3-2 lead off of Alex Hernandez’s long range goal. The home team would prove victorious as Cypress could not answer back without the game’s leading scorer.
“This is a rivalry,” said Cypress Goalie, Danny Ruiz. “We don’t like them and they don’t like us.”
The team’s won’t have to wait long as they meet again on Nov. 8.
The Hornet’s will look to improve on their play as they host Orange Coast College at 3 p.m. this Friday.