Last week, the Lancers faced tough competition against East Los Angeles College (6-1-5) and Mt. San Antonio College (9-1-2). The Lancers lost to ELAC 3-1 and to Mt. SAC 3-0.

However a newfound chemistry arose.

The Lancers began Tuesday’s game at home against ELAC struggling to hold possession of the ball/hey were also unable to keep passes flowing interchangeably with each other.

ELAC attacked a couple of times in the 7th minute and 12th minute before scoring.

The first opportunity was blocked and saved by goalkeeper Andrew Espinoza, when an ELAC forward shot from outside the box. The next chance was a close call as a breakaway play gave ELAC’s forward time to dribble around Espinoza, shooting into an open net, when Christopher Munoz appeared from nowhere to block the shot out.

According to PCC’s Lancers website, ELAC scored in a matter of two minutes. It has been an issue all season that’s come to haunt them not once, but twice: defending set pieces.

The first corner kick for ELAC was a low pass to Valentine Mercado, who skinned the ball with his inside boot upwards giving it a lob effect, curving into the goalkeepers top right corner in the 13th minute.

The second corner kick was again mishandled by PCC. This time the ball was centered to the second post where ELAC’s Salvador Alvarez capitalized the Lancers zoning coverage, heading the ball towards the same area where the first goal was made in the 15th minute.

PCC was down 2-0 early into the game. What resulted for the next 40 minutes was an outpour of opportunities until the 55th minute.

A breakaway counter attack saw ELAC give a driven cross towards the right side to Edward Robles, as he found space to give a through pass towards the left side to William Morse, who curved his shot into Espinoza’s first post.

A consolation goal for the Lancers came in the closing minutes of the game, when Anthony Jimenez was given a through pass from Thomas Flora, and passed ELAC’s right side of the post.

“We didn’t do bad,” said Pablo Buenrostro. “We beat ourselves.”

After losing to a tough opponent the Lancers traveled to Mt. Sac on Friday.

Mt. SAC, who had previously won against ELAC 2-1, were coming off a 2016 season where they played their 10th consecutive final and won their 5th CCCAA State championship.

PCC started the game with a defensive 4-5-1 formation that shifted into their traditional 4-3-3, using the midfielders on both sides of the wing area to counter-attack Mt. SAC.

The transitioning of formations proved costly for the Lancers, as the first minutes of the 1st half saw Mt. SAC’s Sam Ponting score on the right side of the goalkeeper.

PCC’s momentum struck a huge blow at that moment.

Mt. SAC played a dangerous game, passing the ball side to side. Even their goalkeeper was at times outside his area.

The Lancers were forced to defend with a 4-5-1 formation, as Mt. SAC mounted more players in the attack. For the most part, the Lancers kept fighting off any attack, but were unlucky to see a penalty go in favor of the home team.

The referee signaled for penalty when a Mt. SAC player seemed to be brought down easily. Andre Gamboa converted the penalty in the 35th minute, making it 2-0.

A revitalized PCC entered second half to show what the score didn’t reflect. There were chances for PCC, a couple went off to be saved by Mt. SAC’s keeper.

However, a misjudged tackle from Alexander Hernandez resulted in a red card, leaving PCC with one less player. Still, the Lancers pushed to cut the deficit.

“We [have] got to work a little bit more dynamic in the final third and find that right shot or find that right pass to finish off the plays,” said Coach Henry Cabral. “When we were passing we should of shot and when we were shooting we should of passed, so getting that tweaked right will give a different result.”

The referee signaled for additional 2 minutes, when a breakaway led to a Mt. SAC goal, ending the match 3-0, an unfair scoreline for the Lancers.

PCC will face Rio Hondo College on Tuesday and El Camino College on Friday, both at 2:00 p.m.

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