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2016 Season

Whiddon steps down as coach

SAN MARCOS (11-30-2016) -- Dave Whiddon, Palomar's head men's soccer coach for the past two seasons, has stepped down from his post.

"It was a difficult decision but one I had to make mainly due to a health issue," Whiddon said.

"The program is on a solid foundation btoh academically and on the field. There will be 17 returning players next season, and six of our seven sophomores from the past two years have gone on to four-year schools with three of them continuing to play."

Whiddon came to Palomar as an assistant coach under former head coach Carlos Hernandez in 2014 and was elevated to head coach on March 5, 2015.

He previously was assistant principal and athletic director at Mission Vista High School, a Vista Unified School District school in the Vista Unified School District.

Prior to that hed was head boys soccer coach at Rancho Buena Vista High School and was the school's athletic director for 17 years.

Comets end season with loss to Spartans

SAN MARCOS (11-11-2016) -- Palomar dropped its final game of the men's soccer season to rival MiraCosta 4-0 on Friday at Minkoff Field.

Comets coach Dave Whiddon praised the play of Josh Clay and Chris Kusonoki in the loss. "(Clay and Kusonoki) played well and have been our leading players all season long" he said. "A difficult way to end the season but we have a strong core of players coming back."

Palomar and COD tie; Cerda scores goal

PALM DESERT (11-08-2016) -- Argi Cerda scored Palomar's goal off Doug Smith's assist as the Comets and host College of the Desert battled to a 1-1 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference tie on Tuesday afternoon.

Kyle Harkousha had six saves in goal for the Comets.

"It was a great team effort and result for the program," Palomar coach Dave Whiddon said.

The Comets will close out their season when they host MiraCosta on Friday at 3 p.m. at Minkoff Field.

PC downs IVC 2-1; Clay gets 3rd goal in 3 games

SAN MARCOS (11-01-2016) -- Josh Clay scored his third goal in his last three games on Tuesday, lifting Palomar to a 2-1 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men's soccer victory over Imperial Valley at Minkoff Field.

Argie Cerda assisted on Clay's goal, then scored the Comets' second goal himself off Jio Molneri's assist.

Palomar got strong play at midfield from Gil Vasquez and Jio Molinero.

Clay's penalty kick in 85th minute wins game

SAN MARCOS (10-28-16) -- Josh Clay (left) scored the only goal of the game on a perfectly-placed penalty kick in the 85th minute on Tuesday, lifting the Palomar men's soccer team to a 1-0 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference upset win over second-place Southwestern.

Kyle Harkousha recorded the shutout in goal, and coach Dave Whiddon said Chris Kusonoki (right) for being solid on defense.

"This was a total team effort," Whiddon said.

Southwestern is coached by long-time Palomar women's coach Cem Tont, whose Jaguars have dominated their series with the Comets since he became the Southwestern men's coach. He originally left Palomar to become the Jags' women's coach.

PC stuns 1st-Place City, ties Mesa 0-0

SAN MARCOS (10-14-2016) / SAN DIEGO (10-18-2016)Hedgar Tayor (left) scored the game-winning goal off an assist from Chris Kusonoki (right) in the 41st minute on Friday, giving Palomar a 2-1 upset win over Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men's soccer leader San Diego City College at Minkoff Field.

The loss dropped the Knights (7-3-4, 5-2) into second place behind new conference leader San Bernardino Valley, a winner over Cuyamaca on Friday.

Then, on Tuesday, the Comets traveled to San Diego Mesa's Merrill Douglas Stadium for a night game and battled to a 0-0 tie with the Olympians.

With Palomar trailing 1-0 in the game with City College, Elijah Lopez tied the game for the Comets in the 31st minute with the assist cointributed by Edson Ojeda.

The score remained 1-1 until Taylor's game winner.

Kyle Harkousha recorded the win in goal for the Comets. Palomar had two other goals called back.

"The team had a strong physical and mental effort today," coach Dave Whiddon said. "Defensively, we're becoming more consistant, and offensively we're creating a lot of scoring chances."

Harkousha delivered a big game in goal for Palomar in Tuesday's scoreless tie with Mesa.

"Harkousha had an outstanding game. He had several top-class saves," Whiddon said.

"Our defense excelled with Lalo Vasque3z and Chris Kusonoki leding the way. The team has been working hard and the results are starting to come."

PC ties MiraCosta on Sample's goal

OCEANSIDE (10-11-2016) --
Tyree Sample (left), a freshman from Rancho Buena Vista High School, scored in the 85th minute off a Lalo Vasquez assist on Tuesday, giving visiting Palomar a 1-1 tie with a favored MiraCosta side.

Kyle Harkousha was "solid in goal" in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game, coach Dave Whiddon said. Harkousha had five saves against the Spartans.

"This was a total defensive effort and we also got some productive attacking play," Whiddon added.

Also for the Comets, Whiddon said that Edson Ojeda (right) "had a complete game, outstanding on defense as well as creative in the attack."

MiraCosta came into the game in second place in conference, behind only San Diego City College, after knocking off San Bernardino Valley, the previous second-place team, last week.

Gallardo tallies goal in loss to COD

SAN MARCOS (10-07-2016) -- Visiting College of the Desert turned back Palomar 3-1 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men's soccer martchup at Minkoff Field on Friday.

Danny Gallardo scored the Comets' goal.

Harkousha's shutout helps PC win 3-0

SAN MARCOS (9-27-2016) / imperial IMPERIAL (9-30-2016) -- Kyle Harkousha contributed a shutout in goal as Palomar notched its first Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory of 2016 on Friday, defeating host Imperial Valley 3-0.

Hedgar Taylor, Lalo Vasquez and Elijah Lopez scored goals for the Comets.

"We had a great team effort and especially strong play from the defense," Palomar coach Dave Whiddon said.

Last Tuesday, Lopez drew praise from Whiddon for his performance in a 3-0 loss to San Bernardino Valley at Minkoff Field. "(Lopez) was our main attacking threat," Whiddon said. The Wolverines led 1-0 at halftime in the PCAC game.

Freshman midfilders Edson Ojeda (No. 5, top photo) and Jio Molinero (No. 13, directly above) battle for the ball on Friday at Southwestern. -- Photos courtesy of Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

Harkousha, Gemmell play well in 2-0 loss to Jags

CHULA VISTA (9-23-2016) -- Host Southwestern College overcame Palomar's solid defensive performance to turn back the Comets 2-0 in a Pacific Coast men's soccer game on Friday.

Palomar got strong play from goalkeeper Kyle Harkousha and from Kyle Gemmell on defense in the loss.

Palomar drops back-to-back 1-0 decisions

SAN MARCOS (9-16-2016) / RANCHO SAN DIEGO (9-20-2016) -- San Diego Mesa turned back Palomar 1-0 on a disputed penalty kick in the 88th minute in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game on Friday at Minkoff Field.

Then, on Tuesday, the Comet went on the road and lost again 1-0, this time to Cuyamaca in another PCAC game..

Jio Molinero and Lalo Vasquez received praise from coach Dave Whiddon in the game against Mesa.

The Comets are 1-5-2 on the season, 0-3 in the conference.

PC can't retain momentum, drops PCAC opener

SAN DIEGO (9-12-2016) -- In a game in which Palomar played well at times but couldn't keep its momentum going, the Comets dropped their Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener to San Diego City College on Tuesday 5-1

Arci Cerda scored the Comets' goal, while Edson Ojeda had what coach Dave Whiddon described as "a productie and creative performance."

Added Whiddon: "The score does not reflect how well we played for most of the game. Once we cut down on the mental mistakes defensively, we will be successful."

Cerda's goal lifts Comets into win column

SAN MARCOS (9-09-2016) -- Palomar broke into the victory column in men's soccer on Friday, beating visiting El Camino Compton Center 3-2 at Minkoff Field.

Argi Cerda scored the winning goal in the 88th minute off Edson Ojeda's assist, breaking a 2-2 tie.

Elijah Lopez scored the Comets' first goal in the 54th minute on what coach Dave Whiddon described as a "great shot" from 25 yards out.

Gil Vasquez tallied the second Palomar goal in the 58th minute, assisted by Lalo Vasquez (right).

Chuy Resendiz had six saves in a strong game, several in key situations. Lalo Vasquez led the defense.

Palomar is 1-2-2 on the season.


This goal by Elijah Lopez (No. 7) would have put Palomar up 2-0 on Cypress in Tuesday's game at Minkoff Field, but was disallowed by an offsides call. Earlier in the game, a Lopez goal had given the Comets a 1-0 lead. The visiting Chargers eventually won in the 90th minute. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Chargers come back and win in 90th minute

SAN MARCOS (9-06-2016) -- Visiting Cypress College came from behind in the second half on Tuesday afternoon, handing Palomar a 2-1 non-conference men's soccer loss at Minkoff Field.

The Comets took a 1-0 halftime lead on a breakaway goal by Elijah Lopez in the 46th minute.

The lead lasted until the 60th minute, when the Chargers (3-1) tied the game. Cypress went on to notch a one-goal victory as the clock ticked down in the 90th minute by scoring the game-winner on a bicycle kick goal.

What would have been a second goal by Lopez, which would have given Palomar a 2-0 lead, was disallowed due to an offsides call.

The Comets are 0-2-2 to begin the season. The Chargers advanced to 3-1.

ABOVE: Hedgar Taylor gets a shot on goal off for Palomar in Tuesday's 1-1 tie with Norco. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.

Vasquez goal gives PC tie with Mustangs

SAN MARCOS (8-30-2016) -- Lalo Vasquez scored a goal in the 41st minute to give Palomar the lead and the Comets wound up in a 1-1 non-conference soccer tie with Norco in their home opener on Tuesday at Minkoff Field.

After Palomar took a 1-0 lead in at halftime, the visiting Mustangs tied the game in the 52nd minute.

The Comets are 0-0-2 on the season. Norco, which dropped its opener to Pasadena City College 2-0 last Friday, is 0-1-1.

Palomar will be back in action on Friday when the Comets host Citrus at Minkoff Field, beginning at 3 p.m.

Comets open with scoreless tie against Moorpark

MOORPARK (8/26/2016) -- Palomar's men's soccer team kicked off its 2016 season Friday by battling to a 0-0 non-conference tie at Moorpark.

"We had a good performance for the first game," coach Dave Whiddon said. "I'm pleased with the effort."

Goalkeeper Chuy Resendiz recorded eight saves and the shutout with what Whiddon described as "the top performance of the day."

Whiddon also singled out strong play by midfielder Chris Kusunoki and forward Josh Clay.

Off-Season ...

Gonzales (CSUSM), Ruth (SD Christian) commit

SAN MARCOS (2-29-2016) -- Two first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selections from coach Dave Whiddon's Palomar 2015 men's soccer team, Victor Gonzalez and Aaron Ruth, both committed to four-year univiersities this week.

Gonzalez, a sophomore midfielder from La Quinta High School in La Quinta, committed to play for coach Ron Pulvers at Cal State San Marcos.

Gonzalez was team captain for the Comets and carries a 3.5 grade-point average.

Ruth committed to play for coach Josh Westerman at San Diego Christian University.

Ruth has a 4.0 grade-point average.

2015 Season ...

Palomar's  Juan Garcia (left) battles MiraCosta's Jonathan Palacios for control of the ball in the Comets' 2-1 victory over the rival Spartans on Friday at Minkoff Field. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.

Palomar tops rival MiraCosta 2-1 in finale

SAN MARCOS (11-13-2015) -- Palomar finished its men's soccer season on a huge upside on Friday afternoon at Minkoff Field by sweeping rival MiraCosta.

Austin Rizzo scored the winning goal off an assist by Elijah Lopez in the 88th minute, giving the Comets a 2-1 victory over the Spartans.

Rizzo's goal broke a 1-1 halftime tie. MiraCosta went in front late in the first half, but the Comets answered with an unassisted goal by Lalo Calleja.

"(Rizzo's goal) was a great individual effort," Palomar coach Dave Whiddon said, who took over the Comets' program during the off-season and saw his team barely fall short in their previous two games when it had an opportunity to finish the season over .500 .

"This is a great win for the program and will really help in recruiting for next year," Whiddon added. "It was another tremendous team effort, the defense led by Aaron Ruth was solid and the midfield play by Juan Garcia was outstanding."

Palomar's goalkeepers combined for 11 saves, five by Autry Hailey and six by Pierce Cole.

In the first game of the afternoon at Minkoff Field, Palomar's women's team defeated MiraCosta 1-0.

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