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Raiders unbeaten at home, an unbeaten start to the conference season

Freshman+Forward+Dylan+Maio+equalizes+the+game+against+Mission+College.+Photo+credit%3A+Conrad+De+Santiago
Freshman Forward Dylan Maio equalizes the game against Mission College. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

Freshman Forward Dylan Maio equalizes the game against Mission College. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

Freshman Forward Dylan Maio equalizes the game against Mission College. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

By Luis Miron

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Raiders men’s soccer team started the Western State Conference season on a good note by clinching four out of six possible points on their first two games at home. The Raiders kicked things off on Tuesday Oct. 9th against neighbors Oxnard College followed by LA Mission College on Friday Oct. 12th.

OTRO DEFENCE

The Raiders displayed a great defensive performance against Oxnard College. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

Coach Jake Gwin and the boys were optimistic to the start of the conference season, despite not having the best preseason with a record of 6 losses, 3 ties, and only 1 win. Game after game Gwin would highlight all the elements the team needed to work on ahead of the conference season.

“I got three concerns ahead of the conference season, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Oxnard College, which are teams ranked in the top ten in the conference,” said Gwin.

MAZZZ DEFENCE

Freshman midfielder Hector Carranza helping out his team to defend. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

Tuesday afternoon paid off for the team when they took on Oxnard College, with the game starting off with both sides pressuring high on the pitch and looking for a mistake to come from either team’s defense and capitalize. Although it was exciting game of soccer, with nail-biting moments and both teams going back and forth, it ended with both teams splitting a point each with a nil-nil draw.

Gwin was extremely happy with his team’s performance against Oxnard. The players stayed well organized in the back and were also composed under the high pressure Oxnard was imposing, playing well as a unit against a high-ranking team.

“I think we put a solid defensive performance and touch well as a team,” said Raiders team captain Angel Perez. “We lacked in the final third in creating our chances and had we created those chances more clearly we could of put a couple in.”

OTRA GOLZZZZZ!

A penalty kick by captain Angel Perez put the Raiders up 3-2. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

After a great performance against Oxnard College, the team’s morale was at an all-time high.

Friday came, and the Raiders took on their next opponent, The Monarchs of LA Mission College.

Although the team had a two-goal deficit during the first 30 minutes of the game, Gwin was able to regroup the team and pull the comeback yet again with a 3-2 win.

The team gave up an early goal during the first 5 minutes of the game, and then 25 minutes later conceded another goal. The defense seemed a little shaky compared to the game against Oxnard.

REESE MISSED

Freshman goalkeeper Reece Knupp was unable to stop the early goal by Mission College. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

The Raiders were able to regroup after halftime and with a solid performance from sophomore defender Trevor Hadju in the back, who scored the first goal which gave his team the win to stay unbeaten on their first week of the conference season.

“Oxnard was a better opponent and that usually brings our best game,” said Hadju. “We were expecting to have an easier game, but it obviously wasn’t.”

The team wants to keep learning from their mistakes, so they can keep their great run going and secure a top spot in the western conference.

The Raiders have a tough second week of conference games ahead of them. They will take on Santa Barbara at home on Tuesday Oct. 16th at 2 p.m. and then close out the week visiting Santa Monica Friday Oct. 19th at 4 p.m.

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