MSoc: Chaffey hands Vaqueros first loss

Chaffey scored two goals in a three-minute span of the first half and went on to defeat SBCC 3-1 on Tuesday night in a nonconference men’s soccer match at La Playa Stadium.

It was the first loss of the year for the Vaqueros (4-1-0), who moved up to No. 2 this week in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll. No. 10 Chaffey improved to 5-0-1.

Juan Nunez scored in the 34th minute after Alexis Lopez drilled a 19-yard shot off the SBCC wall and the ball dropped at Nunez’s feet. Johnathan Umana took a nice through ball from Jonathan Mendiola in the 37th minute and scored to put the Vaqueros in a 2-0 hole.

SBCC dominated in the first 24 minutes with a 10-2 advantage in shots. The Vaqueros took 16 shots in the first half but only two were on-goal. Nicolas Genthon flicked the ball backward to himself in the eighth minute and then rocketed a shot off the right post.

For the game, the home team delivered 28 shots (7 on-goal) compared to 10 shots with five on-goal for the Panthers.

“It was very frustrating, I thought we could have been three goals up in the first 10 minutes,” said SBCC coach John Sisterson. “We just couldn’t hit the target. With the number of opportunities we had in the first 30 minutes, I thought we were going to win the game comfortably.”

Santa Barbara got back in the game when Carlos Archila Calderon controlled the ball in the right corner and slotted it to Mirza Dizdarevic, who crossed it to Jonathan Mora for his third goal in as many games. That cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 50th minute.

“I thought we played very well. That was some of the best soccer I’ve seen us play. One thing we’re going to have to work on this week is some shooting practice. We told them at halftime, even though we were down, just to relax and keep going and to hit the target.

“We got ourselves back in the game, then our defense got a little sloppy.”

The second-half shot chart was 12-3 in favor of the Vaqueros. Kebba Nyang had a solid chance in the 63rd minute but it sailed over the crossbar.

In the 83rd minute, Lopez had a free kick about two yards from the end line on the right side of the penalty box. He lofted it to Edgar Cervantes, who headed it into the upper right corner for a 3-1 lead.

“When you get that many chances, you have to finish your chances,” said Sisterson. “We made two critical mistakes in the back and they scored both times. Overall, I thought we played well and we’re going the right way. We just have to start finishing the ball.”

Dizdarevic sparked the Vaquero offense in the second half and Sisterson called him “the man of the match.”

The Vaqueros will open Western State Conference play on Friday when Hancock visits La Playa at 7:30 p.m.