Scorching temperatures failed to slow the Lancers as they blazed past Allan Hancock at Robinson Stadium on Friday, netting a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
The sweltering 102-degree heat made fans seek the shade provided by the trees overlooking the bleachers. A dangerous spike in the heat index delayed the start of the game by 80 minutes, but the anticipation lead to a great start for the Lancers: within the first 20 minutes of taking the field, midfielder Mario Urbina maneuvered a short cross to forward Andres Velasquez to sneak in the first goal of the game.
“When they postponed the game it held us back a little bit because we were ready,” said Urbina. “We started kind of slow, but then we picked it up real fast. We saw the openings and the gaps and did well as a team. We worked really hard for this game.”
The Bulldogs’ defenders were relentless in breaking up opportunities, but struggled to match the Lancers offensively. At the end of the first half, the Lancers outshot Hancock 9 to 1.
A breakaway led by midfielder Christian Ibarra, followed by a pass to Urbina, rewarded the Lancers with another goal and a solid 2-0 lead going into the last minutes of the game. Another breakaway – the last valiant attempt at a Bulldog comeback – was deftly stopped by goalie Bryan Espinoza, securing the Lancer victory.
“It was a bit wide open,” admitted assistant coach Art Alvarado. “We had an equal amount of opportunities to win the game, it’s just we capitalized on a couple. We have some really good freshmen coming in – like Mario.”
The Lancers will return to the field to play Norco College on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 4 PM. It is forecasted to be considerably cooler.