Irvine Valley's men's soccer team picked up a much needed win on Tuesday, beating Fullerton, 1-0, in an Orange Empire Conference match at home.
The Lasers used a goal from freshman forward Max Kleinhammes just before the end of the first half and received great play in goal from sophomore Nathan King and freshman Scott Johnson to knock off the Hornets, who went into the match in first place in the conference standings.
The victory got IVC's record back to level on the season at 6-6-6. The Lasers moved to 2-4-2 in conference and stayed within striking distance of the top four teams in conference.
Fullerton's record slipped to 8-5-4 overall and 4-2-2 in conference. With the defeat, the Hornets are now tied for first in the conference with Orange Coast.
Fullerton was ranked No. 17 in the state this past week.
Irvine Valley felt it let a victory get away when it played at Fullerton earlier this month. The Lasers led, 2-1, early in the second half in that contest, but Fullerton came back for a 3-2 triumph.
The Lasers battled hard to hold on to their lead Tuesday at home.
Both teams had numerous chances throughout the contest.
Sophomore midfielder Gibae Kim started things off for Irvine Valley with a chance, but his shot was saved by Fullerton keeper Anthony Rodriguez.
Fullerton came right back and had a shot by Rodrigo Pasos saved by King. He deflected the ball, it hit off the post and bounced away in the fourth minute.
King later made a diving save off a volley attempt by Chris Smith and then made another diving save in the 20th minute off a hard shot taken by Ryan Meinardus.
King one more save on a good chance in the box by Mike Calderon.
Irvine Valley settled the game down and the two sides went back and forth the rest of the half.
The Lasers got on the board just before the end of the first half. Freshman midfielder Bryan Landazuri played a ball into the box that Kleinhammes controlled and then sent around a defender and Rodriguez and into the back of the net to give Irvine Valley a 1-0 lead. It was Kleinhammes team and conference leading 10th goal of the season.
Early in the second half, King went down and was replaced for five minutes by Johnson, who made the most of his time in net.
Johnson was challenged on two straight hard shots, including a rebound attempt by Smith. Johnson made diving saves on both to help protect the Laser advantage.
King re-entered the contest and was right back at making his own saves. One of his best of the day came on a lunging stop off a hard volley by Kentrell Dorsey off a corner kick in the 65th minute.
Fullerton had a few more chances late, including having Meinardus' shot on a free kick hit the crossbar and bounce away in the 76th minute.
IVC nearly added to its lead in the 84th minute when Kleinhammes got free, but Rodriguez was able to make a leaping save on the shot.
Irvine Valley held on the rest of the way for the important win.
King ended up making seven saves on the day, while Johnson recorded two stops.
Irvine Valley plays again on Friday at home against Orange Coast at 3 p.m.