The San Diego City College men’s soccer team defeated Imperial Valley 6–0 in a conference game at home on Oct. 22.
However, it’s been a very difficult couple of weeks for the team coach Milton Hidalgo. His father recently passed away, but the Knights have kept his spirit up by being one of the most talented teams he’s ever coached at City College.
Hidalgo has managed to lead the men’s soccer team to a 1st place ranking in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) with an overall record of (12-1-2) and (5-0-1) in conference play.
“Adversity comes in all forms and fashions in life,” Hidalgo said.
“You have to take the good with the bad and keep striving.”
“Losing my father was something I had prepared for a few years ago,” Hidalgo said. “He had been fighting a deadly disease for some time now.”
Throughout the season, Coach Hidalgo has gotten consistent effort and hard work from all of his players. Freshmen forwards Hector Munoz and Javier Pena have played a great part in the dominant wins by the Knights so far this season.
“Coach Hidalgo is a very smart man who knows the game in all phases,” Munoz said. “Having a coach who has competed on the same level as a player means a lot.”
At the beginning of the season, Hidalgo stressed to his team how important it would be for them to communicate on and off the field.
“I tell my guys all the time, communication is one of the untold keys to eternal success in life,” Hidalgo explained. “To communicate properly with the people you share life with leads to great things.”
When talking about proper communication, just ask six-foot-four sophomore goalkeeper Nick Ybarra. Ybarra is well known for his quick instincts, cunning ability to cover large amounts of ground, and unique way of communicating with his teammates.
Ybarra held seven opponents to no goals seven times this year, while only allowing seven goals throughout 14 games. Ybarra leads the PCAC with 127 saves. As a team, the Knights are scoring a staggering 2.4 goals per game.
“As the season progresses, our guys seem to play stronger and stronger,” assistant coach Hans Witzell said. “I’m seeing a lot of unique things about this group of young men.”
Hidalgo said he has received positive input from top to bottom on his roster. As a unit, he said he feels his coaching staff and players have what it takes to win the PCAC crown and much more.