What began as a defensive struggle ended in a second half letdown for the Hornets as they were defeated by the Pirates of Orange Coast College 4-2.
The Pirates would go on to score goals in the 55th, 62nd, and 66th minutes that would remain unanswered and ultimately defeat the Hornets 4-2.
The three goals served as a metaphorical “punch in the mouth” to these players as they were unable to overcome them.
“I think it’s kind of been the same story where we start confident and then like that boxer who said, ‘everybody has a plan until they get hit in the mouth’,” said forward Alec Afarian. “I think once we get hit in the mouth, we don’t know how to respond and it’s showing the youth of our team and that we’re not a real unit.”
Fullerton forward Brian Pacheco was first to score with a goal in the 21st minute after he was fouled in the penalty area and awarded a penalty kick. He drilled it home and gave the Hornets an early 1-0 lead.
The teams battled back and forth, constantly applying pressure. Multiple shots on goal were exchanged between the two teams before the Pirates’ Jack Slavik answered with a goal of his own, tying the game at 1-1 in the 28th minute.
The game remained a defensive battle for the remainder of the first half as the Hornets went into halftime deadlocked at 1-1.
The second half began just like the first ended, with constant pressure applied by both teams. The Hornets again struck first, netting a 46th minute goal by Fullerton midfielder Eduin Munguia.
In order for these Hornets to make a turnaround during their second half of conference play, Afarian says the team is going to need to come together if they want their season to end on a higher note.
According to Hornet head coach Alex Perez, a failure to take what is learned during practice and translating that to game time is what is done in his team.
“It was disappointing. We have a bunch of younger guys and it’s hard for them to understand what we do at practice, we do for a reason,” said head coach Alex Perez. “Everything we’ve done at practice, come game time, we’re doing something else.”
For the Hornets to turn themselves around for the remainder of the season, their coach wants them to keep improving. The team is freshman heavy and needs to gain experience while building confidence.
Fullerton (3-9-2, 1-4-2) hopes they can build their confidence as they travel to Santa Ana (4-6-4, 3-2-2) for their next game on Friday Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. The Hornets next home game will be Tuesday Oct. 27 against Irvine Valley College at 3 p.m.