Fullerton College showed no mercy when they played Orange Coast College on Tuesday, Oct. 16 as they tacked on another victory at 1-0.
The Hornets started the game applying ample amount of pressure to the Pirates. With just 12 minutes into the game, the Hornets got a spark from freshman defender Marco Polo to give the Hornets the first points of the game.
As a defender, Polo’s job is to prevent his opponents from scoring, however, this was not the case on Tuesday. Polo found himself right in the center of action when his teammate freshman midfielder Steve Perez blasted the ball up the right flank for Polo to tap in giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
“Our team performed well in the first half…We were making a counterattack through the left side and our center-mid Stevie got the ball. I ran up the flank on the right and asked for the ball. Stevie gave it to me and I took the shot. It deflected off the defender and I got the rebound to tap in the goal,” Polo said.
Fullerton head coach Greg Aviles felt his team responded well against OCC coming off a scoreless draw against Irvine Valley on Oct. 12.
“We had a little adversity coming off last week, but we started the week off right. This week we got on track and we got the “W” at home which is the most important thing for us,” Aviles stated.
It was imminent from the beginning, that if the Hornets wanted to have success against the Pirates, they would need to control and dominate ball possession early in the game.
By playing the ball from the backfield, the Hornets were able to dictate the tempo of the match from start to finish and take advantage of the Pirate’s vulnerable defense.
The Hornets remained aggressive for all 45 minutes of the first half enforcing their dominant attacks by pushing the ball ahead to the forwards. This created countless shot opportunities that excited the home crowd.
The Pirates had no answers for the Hornets during the first half. However, when OCC came out of halftime trailing 1-0, a sense of urgency was shown as the Pirates changed their game plan in the second half. The Pirates fought for every ball with aggression and shielded the Hornets from scoring anymore goals.
This was a complete turn around from the first half of being responsive to the Hornet’s attack and only attacking using just counterattacks.
Despite being rattled at times during the second half, the Hornet’s offense kept consistent in search of a second goal.
Although both teams had numerous shot opportunities, due to the aggressive plays on defense from both teams, they went scoreless in the second half.
With five minutes left to go in the game, the Hornets played conservatively as they kept the ball away from the Pirate defenders.
This strategy was used to limit the pressure from the Pirates defense and ultimately secured a 1-0 victory for the Hornets.
“Getting back to back clean sheets reflects well on how our defense is playing against the opposition… It’s all about keeping composure and storming the wave,” CJ Wood, Hornet sophomore captain defender said.
Fullerton College (12-2-1,7-1-1) hosts Orange Empire Conference rivals Santa Ana this upcoming Friday, Oct. 19, at 3 pm.