Heartbreak for men’s soccer team as Compton Tartars tie game in extra time


Knights midfielder Didier Hatungimana uses his agressive speed to gain the ball from the opposing team during the first home game of the season on Sept. 3. Photo credit: Miguel Cid

Miguel Cid

The San Diego City College men’s soccer team kicked off their first home game of the season on Sept. 3 against the El Camino-Compton Tartars, in a game that ended in a heartbreaking 2-2 tie for the Knights.

Earlier in the day, Knights sophomore forward Victor Montoya gave his thoughts about Head Coach, Milton Hidalgo and the team.

“Coach Hidalgo is more on the tough strict side, but the man knows a lot; if we play how we do in practice expect us to win every time,” Montoya said. “We are a new team putting the pieces together, focusing on a strong defensive line. We have a solid team on and off the bench — everyone contributes.”

But Compton didn’t come to lose as they were first to draw blood, early in the opening half. It was Joey Loza for the Tartars who was able to get past the Knights’ aggressive defense and sneak in a goal off his head. But that didn’t sit well with the Knights’ coaching staff and players, and the team answered with back-to-back goals, scored both by midfielder Daniel Herrera.

Like Montoya mentioned earlier, the Knights are not a one-man team, for it was easy to see contributions by home team players such as himself, the seemingly ever energized midfielder, Didier Hatugimana, and pressure pushed by the rest of the front guys.

For the remainder of the half and most of the game, the Knights remained on top at 2-1 and played as if they were brothers in arms, one cohesive unit. The high energy of the home team forced Compton to adjust their strategy to strictly defense, playing on their heels.

The Knights sealed the deal all the way into the extra minutes of stoppage time, but no further than that.

Every once in a while, with game tightly in hand, something electric seems to move about the air; the “what ifs?”

From the winning team, at times when there should be no doubt, weeds begin to appear. From the trailing team, backs against the wall and nothing to lose, hopes of glory. Maybe it was a little of both on Wednesday afternoon, or maybe the spoils of victory setting in for the Knights — whatever it was, the Compton Tartars mustered up one last rally and from Adrian Guzman and scored the heartbreaking equalizing goal.

Within the next minute, the seconds ticked away on the game clock and the Knights were looking to answer back quickly. But the final three whistles blew from the referee with the final score tied at 2-2.

The next home game for the men’s soccer team will be on Oct. 10, against Palomar College at 3:15 p.m.