Men's Soccer

Rivera's hat trick propels men's soccer team to third win in a row

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's soccer team continued to pile up the goals, defeating Fullerton, 4-1, in an Orange Empire Conference match on Friday at home.

It was Irvine Valley's third straight conference victory and improved its record to 12-4-0 overall and 7-2-0 in conference. Fullerton fell to 9-5-3 overall and 5-4-1 in conference.

In the last three wins, Irvine Valley has out-scored opponents, 9-4. And IVC now has 44 goals in 16 matches played.

Sophomore midfielder Jose Rivera had three of the goals on Friday. He also added one assist in the standout performance.

Rivera's three goals gave him eight on the season. He also paces the team in assists on the season with eight and in points with 26.

Rivera, a first-team all-conference player a year ago for Irvine Valley, recorded his first hat trick at the school.

"He can do so many things for us," IVC coach Martin McGrogan said. "He is such a good player."

IVC now has four players that have scored at least eight goals this year.

Rivera scored the first goal Friday get the Lasers going.

Sophomore midfielder Jose Gamboa fed a ball to Rivera, who niftily flicked it with his foot into the upper right corner of the net in the 28th minute.

Five minutes later Gamboa beat three defenders and then sent a sharp pass to Rivera, who immediately crossed to sophomore forward Connor Elder. Elder finished with a one-time shot that beat Fullerton goalie Julian Ochoa to give Irvine Valley a 2-0 lead.

Fullerton got a goal back just before the end of the first half. Jacob Aldana scored on a free kick from the top of the box.

Irvine Valley got some separation early in the second half. Ten minutes in, Rivera scored his second goal of the game, on a header, off a corner kick from freshman forward Daniel Segal to make it 3-1.

And in the 84th minute, Rivera beat Ochoa with a shot to the left side for his third score.

Fullerton added a goal in extra time from Eduin Menguia to make the final, 4-2.

Irvine Valley freshman keeper Blake Sigler made six saves in the match, which featured seven yellow cards.

"It was a tough game between two good teams," McGrogan said. "We knew that Fullerton was going to come in and be a hard team to beat. I thought we really took our chances well and that opened the game for us. I thought we did really well offensively."

Irvine Valley is on the road for two matches next week, traveling to Cypress on Tuesday and then to Orange Coast next Friday.

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