Men’s soccer redeemed themselves with a 5-3 win against Chaffey in front of the home crowd Friday, learning from their rough loss at their first conference game earlier that week.
The Lancers fell short two goals in the first half of the game, something they struggled with in their conference opener against Mt. SAC. However, recovering from this fallback involved the team’s effort in regrouping their mental toughness, according to freshman midfielder Yader Rodriguez.
“Our coaches told us after our first game that the worst mistake that we can make in a game is to lose our mind and not play as a team,” said Rodriguez.
By halftime, the Lancers tied the game 3-3. The consistency of their momentum stayed strong for the rest of the game.
“Instead of leaving frustrated after first quarter, the team had good character, and regrouped,” said assistant coach Nor Kirakosyan. “It showed in the rest of the game.”
There was a unanimous agreement between the coaches and the players that there was a focused, motivated mindset out on the field at this game that showed in their playing, and resulted to their win.
“There were no individual player highlights of that Friday’s game,” said assistant coach Gerry Mora. “Everyone’s effort was the highlight.”
One of the team’s biggest challenge was making sure everyone was in-sync when they were on the field, since there are almost 30 of them.
“Something that felt different at that game was how mentally prepared we were,” said Rodriguez.”We need to work on maintaining that level of fight for every game.”
Their first conference game was rough, but served as a growing pain for the Lancers. At practices leading up to their second conference game, the team focused on organization, and playing as a team rather than an individual. According to Mora, an individual is playing for himself if he has little to no focus on the events happening at the field. Rather than the team being in-sync with every pass being made, the individual would hope for the best after kicking the ball to another teammate.
“There’s a difference between going through the motions at the field and actually putting your mind to playing with the team,” said Mora. “Any goals made with no focus from the team are what the coaches call weak goals. We had those at the first conference game, but not at the second.”
Though their redemption was a motivation boost for the team this season, all are going to work on keeping up Friday’s momentum up for the rest of the season.
“I want the team to work on picking up quickly right when the game starts,” said Kirakosyan. “We had that ‘first conference game’ feeling already. Now that we’re two games in, they should know to apply themselves in the field for the season.”