Looks like the Hornets play better soccer during the playoffs than during the regular season, as they put away the Coyotes 2-1, in an elimination match and made it look like a clinic. Granted, it wasn’t a high scoring game, the majority of the game was played on the Coyote’s end of the field.

OEC MVP Misael Gonzalez attacking the ball in the air during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes.

OEC MVP Misael Gonzalez attacking the ball in the air during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes. Photo credit: Bryan Chavez

The second half is where all the scoring took place. Freshman forward Kevin Manzo was able to score an unassisted goal during the first ten minutes with a strong goal kick from 15-yards out to take the lead 1-0.

“Once we figured out what we were doing and got back into our stride, we were able to take over the game,” said head coach Greg Aviles.

Freshman forward Devin Villegas fights for the goal attempt during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes.

Freshman forward Devin Villegas fights for the goal attempt during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes. Photo credit: Bryan Chavez

Five minutes later, freshman forward and winner of the Orange Empire Conference Most Valuable Player award, Misael Gonzalez, put the ball in to the back of the net with a 20-yard goal strike to put the Hornets up 2-0.

“I saw the ball go out of bounds. When the ball was thrown back in to play, I saw two defenders in front of me. Immediately, I knew what to do to score,” said Gonzalez of how he planned out his 13th goal of the season.

Sophomore midfielder Jazey Zavala with a strong shot at goal attempt during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes.

Sophomore midfielder Jazey Zavala with a strong shot at goal attempt during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes. Photo credit: Bryan Chavez

The first half of the game was a wash as both teams remained knotted at a scoreless tie. “We are a very offensive minded team. In the first half, we were dropping back a little bit more defensive. That’s what we do. We come in waves,” said Aviles.

Sophomore center Sergio Ibarra playing offense during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes.

Sophomore center Sergio Ibarra playing offense during Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, game at home against the Coyotes. Photo credit: Bryan Chavez

Cuyamaca was able to score during the last minute of regular play when the ball went through Fullerton freshman goalkeeper Hayden Frost.

Frost filled in the last 20 minutes of the game when freshman starting goalkeeper Jose Estrada was sent to the bench after 70 minutes of play and four saves. “All credit to Cuyamaca,” said Aviles. “Coach Brian’s team had great movement.”

No.3 Hornets (14-4-4, 9-1-2) will host No.6 Long Beach City College (8-5-9, 3-4-3) on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m.

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