Men’s soccer kicks out to conference lead

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Cem Tont picked up with the men’s soccer team the same place he left off with the women’s—winning. Tont’s troops marched through pre-season play with a 5-1-1 record and optimism for a conference title.

 

”I expect us to be the top team or between the top two teams in the conference with our quality of play and performance,” he said.

After a forgettable first half, things heated up fast in the 90th minute of the season home opener, a thrilling 2-1 victory over Riverside Community College.

In the final ticks of the match, Riverside shook the back of the net and the confidence of the Jaguars, knotting the match up. But SWC responded with a last-minute, explosive finish.

A desperate attack earned the Jags a free kick from the edge of the box. With time running out, striker Juan Villaseñor tucked a curling shot into the bottom right corner to put away Riverside, 2-1.

“I was just trying to bury it in the back of the net,” said Villaseñor. “It was our last chance and I felt confident to take a shot. I executed exactly how I pictured it.”

Momentum from the home opener propelled the Jaguars to dribble past their next four opponents until East Los Angeles nipped them 1-0 in the seventh game of the season.  Though a blemish on an otherwise perfect record, Tont saw the defeat as a learning moment and a possible blessing in disguise.

“This was the best game of soccer we have played the whole season and obviously we are not happy with the result,” said Tont.  “But tight games like these can go either way and I am quite pleased with our performance.”

Sophomore captain and starting center back Isaac Veenstra said he did not agree and thought the team had periods of sloppy play.“Our touch was off and we didn’t play the ball like we normally play,” he said.

Conference play for the Jags begins Sept. 23rd as they face off Cuyamaca College. Tont motivates his squad with a few choice words to calm their nerves.

“I told my players that if you leave your soul on the field you have nothing to worry about,”
said Tont.

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