Men's Soccer

Men's soccer team blanks El Camino in first match of 2016

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's men's soccer team was already in solid form in its 2016 season-opening match Saturday afternoon.

The Lasers, returning nine players and six starters, were first to the ball, played forward and created tons of chances to score in a 2-0 win over El Camino.

"It was a very good first time out," Irvine Valley coach Martin McGrogan said. "There were a lot of positives. I thought we could have scored even more goals."

In the middle of setting up most of Irvine Valley's chances were returning sophomore midfielders Albert Chavez, Jose Rivera, Jose Gamboa and Joseph Ferguson.

Chavez and Rivera were each named first team all-Orange Empire Conference and Gamboa and Joseph Ferguson, along with sophomore forward Connor Elder, were picked second team all-conference players in 2015 when Irvine Valley won the conference title, finished with 16 overall victories, captured two postseason wins and made the Southern California Regional Playoff finals.

The Lasers had seven shots and a penalty kick attempt in the first half before finally finding the back of the net two minutes into extra time.

In the 47th minute, Gamboa found sophomore forward Sean Goode in the box and Goode beat El Camino keeper Cesar Amezcua with a shot to the bottom right corner of the net.

Goode was Irvine Valley's leading-scorer during the 2014 season, finishing with nine goals and 22 points for the Lasers.

Earlier in the first half, Elder hit a  volley just wide, Rivera hit a good strike that was saved by Amezcua, Elder sent a shot wide in the box, Rivera sent a shot just over the top of the goal, Amezcua saved a penalty kick by Elder, guessing to his left and diving to make the save, freshman forward Daniel Segal headed a ball over the goal and Goode hit the crossbar with a shot.

El Camino's best chance came early in the second half, but Irvine Valley freshman keeper Blake Sigler was able to make a save after the Warriors made a break in on goal.

Irvine Valley found some breathing room in the 65th minute when Ferguson sent a ball forward to Rivera, who slid a shot past the charging Amezcua to make it a 2-0 game.

The Lasers continued to pressure, but settled for the 2-0 victory.

Sigler ended up making four saves in goal for Irvine Valley.

The Lasers play again on Friday in the Hartnell Tournament. The Lasers open the three-day tourney against Lake Tahoe on Friday.

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