Knights and Spartans battle on the soccer field


David Pradel

While attacking the MiraCosta defense sophomore midfielder Daniel Herrera crosses the ball to the other side of the field on Oct. 31 at the SDCC Soccer Field where both teams tied 0-0. Photo credit: David Pradel

David Pradel, Sports Editor

It wasn’t a goal scoring game – it was a physical and scoreless 90 minutes of soccer on Oct. 31, where the San Diego City College men’s soccer team battled against MiraCosta College.

In the opening minutes of the match, City College freshman midfielder Ivan Castaneda had an opportunity to put the Knights up early as he was able to get past the MiraCosta defenders but unable to find the back of the net and sent the ball flying over the goal.

As the first half continued, the Knights had a couple of more chances to squeeze the ball past the goalkeeper but were unable to find success after many promising attacks.

It seemed as the minutes went by with both teams knocking at the door to score – the physicality intensified and it had players and the coaches screaming at the referee after his missed or wrong calls.

As the first half ended with both teams frustrated and eager to score, the second half continued where the first half ended – players flopping on the ground after being hit and trying to make the referee blow his whistle. After many attempts, MiraCosta got the call that ejected sophomore forward Daniel Morales from the game.

It was a foul deserving of a whistle, but the Hollywood acting the MiraCosta forward performed after made the referee pull out a yellow card – Morales had a yellow card coming into the game after receiving one the game before against Mesa College. The referee then pulled out his red card and the Knights were down a man with 30 minutes remaining in the game.

“I felt like I let my team down,” Morales said. “I was mad that I got (ejected) – I was upset and wanted to get back in but the team played well after being a man down.”

With the Knights being down a man, MiraCosta went on the attack but the Knights defense were able to stop them in their tracks.

“With us being down a man, it changed everything; we had to change our game plan – we had to protect,” said freshman midfielder Tabu Okello.

After many attempts throughout the game, the MiraCosta offense broke through the Knights defense but missed what would’ve been a game-winning goal. But the Knights followed back quickly, and as the referee was ready to blow his whistle, it was sophomore forward Reddiet Mekonnen that led the final attacks for the Knights.

Mekonnen sent the ball into the Spartans defense and after a couple of ricochets from defenders and forwards off both teams, Knights freshman midfielder Tabu Okello got the ball and sent a shot into the lower left corner of the goal but goalkeeper Angel Ruiz managed to stop the ball before it crossed the white line.

“I thought I had it – I was thinking to kick the ball and squeeze it in where the keeper couldn’t reach it but he did,” Okello said. “All I was thinking of was to get us a goal – but I was unlucky.”

Seconds after, the final three whistles blew and the game ended in a draw, 0-0.

“It was very physical – I got banged up, I got hit but we played hard even with nine men on the field,” Mekonnen said. “We still got a couple of more games left where we can win.”

With the tie, City College still sits at second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, with a conference record of 5-1-3 and an overall record of 5-5-6. The Knights next and final home game of the season is on Nov. 7. against Imperial Valley College at 3 p.m.