Despite allowing a gift goal in just the second minute of play, the FLC men’s soccer team rallied for three goals of their own to defeat a quality Santa Rosa team on Friday afternoon at Falcon Stadium, 3-2.
The Bear Cubs entered the match in a tie for first place in the Big 8 with Delta, three points ahead of the third-place Falcons. After the early hiccup, the Falcons unleashed an offensive attack of their own that resulted in two quick goals within a minute; Mouad Zehnouni tallied the first one with a perfectly placed high, looping shot that bounced over the Bear Cubs’ center back (the goalkeeper had strayed too far out to defend) to tie the score.
Less than a minute later, Adam Ratto attacked the right sideline, then centered a pass that found Miguel Medina in front of the goal for his 12th goal of the season and a 2-0 Falcon lead. The Falcons’ third goal came from Ratto – his second of the season – and gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead. The Bear Cubs added a second-half goal that made for some anxious moments, but ultimately, the Falcon defense held strong to secure the win.
The Falcons improved their record to 10-1-1 overall and are now tied for second in the Big 8 (with Santa Rosa) at 3-1-1. They’ll host Clovis on Tuesday in a non-conference match at Falcon Stadium at 4 p.m.
The Falcons took advantage of a hat trick by sophomore Alhan Bakideh to roll past host Modesto on Friday afternoon, 3-1.
The Falcons actually started slowly on Friday, allowing the Pirates to take an early 1-0 lead and still trailed by that score at halftime. Coach Donny Ribaudo then moved goalkeeper Izzy Chinchay to forward (with Hunter Casperson now in goal), which energized the offense with hustle and aggressive attacks. The three goals by Bakideh give her seven for the season and was her second hat trick of 2018 (the first came against Solano).
With two matches to play before they reach the halfway point in their Big 8 schedule, the Falcons are in third place and just one point behind Santa Rosa. They will travel to Pleasant Hill on Tuesday to face an always-tough Diablo Valley squad (8-3 overall, 4-3 Big 8) at 3:30 p.m.
Friday night’s showdown with American River College was billed as a battle for a share of the Big 8 lead, and it lived up to the hype as the two teams slugged it out for five sets before American River secured the win, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 15-7.
Despite winning the first set, the Falcons did not play to their potential, as they allowed the Beavers to control sets two and three. After dominating set four, the Falcons again fell flat in the deciding set.
“For whatever reason, we did not bring our ‘A’ game,” lamented coach Matt Torrez.
The loss drops the Falcons into a virtual tie for third place with Sierra, one game behind American River and Delta. The Falcons will host Sacramento City on Wednesday night at 6:30 as part of “Spirit Week” at FLC.