The Comets men’s soccer 2017 campaign lost to Moorpark College 3-2 at home on Tuesday evening.
This was the fourth consecutive defeat for this term. Now they are without a single point in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, which could be arguably seen as their worse start in the history of southern division.
Playing against organized opposition, Palomar showed eagerness and determination to initiate a series of attacking movements and took the lead inside of 15 minutes.
Aaron Proulx pushed high up the pitch on the left flank to receive a long ball and combined nicely with Romeo Hernandez, who ran over the defense and finished a close range shot into the bottom near post.
But they struggled to maintain the consistent pressing as the opponent’s midfield line sharply generated a rhythm of build-up runs and winning attacking spaces that brought them an equalizer.
Moorpark’s Jordi Arellano switched a wide play to the right to Nate Johnson as he cut inside his marker and sent a fine cross over the far post for Cesar Ramirez to pull a cool header into the net.
The visitors controlled the balance of pressing central positions and passing links, denying space in Palomar’s midfield all around the pitch. The visitor’s tactics of high pressing and neat short combinations rewarded them with a quick succession of two more goals in the space of five minutes.
First, from a corner kick on the left side, Arellano played a short ball smartly into the center of the box that set up David Jimenez to smack a perfectly curling, left-footed shot into the top corner.
Moorpark’s right winger Cesar Ramirez once again contributed to provide an assist for the third goal. He pressured center back Augustin Lara, robbed him of the ball, and with a fine turn, he played in Oscar Ramos.
Ramos hooked his left foot and fired a brilliantly accurate strike into the bottom corner, almost assuring the visitors would win.
With rising the sense of urgency, Comets’ new head coach David Linenberger brought in Anthony Maldonado and Tyler Kovacs to spark a passing tempo and off-the-ball mobility in the final third and a second goal for Palomar came soon.
Angel Hernandez burst over the left flank in a timely transition, while he looked to dink in a fine pass over the box and Tyler Kovacs raced past the last defender to fire a perfectly accurate and fierce half volley that veered underside of top corner.
Captain Aaron Proulx’s timely reaction for a perfect goal line clearance kept the losing margin to a minimum, but his save was the last fighting moment as the Comet’s faced yet another defeat.
Linenberger addressed some important challenges his team is facing this season.
“The goals we conceded mainly were caused by our defensive errors rather than opposition creating them, our focus will underline the effort to elevate the level of defensive reliability and awareness while improving our pressing task to deny opposition’s attacks causing us problems in upcoming games,” Linenberger said.
There is room for improvement and positive work, according to Proulx.
“We started the game with good energy, but eventually struggled to maintain our game plan, and lack of concentration resulted in mistakes defensively,” Proulx said.
Palomar’s men’s soccer team is up against Oceanside-based rival MiraCosta on Sept. 12.
- Palomar College, Men’s Soccer Oct. 7 2016: Dylan Halstead/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved