The Hornets men’s soccer remains No. 1 after a come back win against the Hawks Tuesday, Nov. 6. Fullerton is coming off a two game winning streak and this win was just what the Hornets needed to prepare for their upcoming game verses Golden West College.
Hornets sophomore forward Danny Abrego-Fulton led the team with two goals which helped secure the win against Santiago Canyon College as the Hornets move on to the OEC championship game Friday, Nov. 9.
“I feel like I played my role and they needed those two goals or else Friday wouldn’t mean anything,” Abrego-Fulton said.
The game began with speed from both teams. It was a playoff game-like feel with both benches screaming and communicating with their teammates as the intensity magnified.
The Hawks were faster and more aggressive offensively as well as defensively to start off the game. Their defense put a lot of pressure on the Hornets forwards as they had trouble getting into Hawks territory.
As a response, the Hornets made quick passes but couldn’t set up offensively. On the other side of the ball, the Hawks found an opportunity, after the Hornets struggle with ball possession, to score but shot the ball just over the crossbar.
The Hornets finally got their first scoring chance when Abrego-Fulton was targeted for a cross pass but it went just over his head which prevented Fullerton from taking the lead.
The Hornets found themselves with another scoring opportunity when sophomore forward Jacob Aldana received a pass from forward Cesar Ortega, but the shot was blocked by the Hawks goalkeeper.
As the first half went on, the Hawks’ energy started to fade little by little as the Hornets offense picked up their play. Despite the Hornets starting to play better, the Hawks took advantage as they got in the penalty box and shot the ball over goalkeeper Kevan Rehmani’s hands for the Hawks to take the lead 1-0.
There was a lot of back and forth between both teams in the neutral zone. Both teams struggled with ball possession, but the first half came to an end as the Hawks lead by one goal going into half time.
The Hornets opened the second half with speed as they used open passing lanes to get past the Hawks defenders, but could not find any openings to shoot the ball. Soon after, Hornets sophomore defender CJ Wood passed the ball to sophomore midfielder Pablo Ros for a header, but it was too high as the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Fullerton finally got their golden opportunity when Aldana was fouled in the penalty box, which led to a penalty shot that landed in the back of he net to earn a point to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hornets nearly took the lead but shot it wide off a pass from sophomore forward AJ Yazid. Moments later, Yazid got an opportunity himself, but couldn’t finish the play as he was being pulled back by the Hawks defense shooting the ball over the crossbar.
The Hornets executed on an opportunity to cash in for the lead. Sophomore defender Cesar Coronado made an accurate pass into the penalty box that Fulton kicked into the net to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead. This moment had the Hornets bench fired up as ran off the bench to celebrate with Fulton.
FC’s Abrego-Fulton now leads the team with nine goals for the season, but believes in his offense heading into the big championship game Friday.
“It’s exciting. We just got to practice first and get ready for Friday” said Fulton.
The game got intense when goalkeeper Rehmani and a Hawks defender jumped up for the ball which led to rough contact that took the defender out of the game. FC’s defense did not give the Hawks much space to work as they played aggressively till the end.
“In the first half, we weren’t on the same page but we talked it out at halftime. We were kind of sloppy, we fixed it, came in having the same mission, and we got it done” said Coronado.
The Hornets defense prevailed by keeping their composure as they are getting ready to play Golden West.
“It’s exactly what I knew what they’re going to do. We always believe in ourselves and we have since day one,” said head coach Greg Aviles. “We are getting better everyday and believe in what we do.”
Next up for Fullerton College (15-2-2 overall, 10-1-2 conference) will be OEC championship game where they will host Golden West College. Kickoff is Friday, Nov. 9, at 3 pm.