COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College men's soccer team will play under the lights on Tuesday night as they travel to El Camino College to take on the Warriors, beginning at 6 p.m. at Murdock Stadium.
After outlasting Irvine Valley in a wild and wacky 5-1 overtime win, the fifth-seeded Pirates (13-3-5) have earned a trip to Torrance to take on the fourth-seeded Warriors (13-2-5), who topped Cypress, 1-0, on Saturday night.
The big boys stepped up for OCC on Saturday, including Orange Empire Conference MVP Danny Vargas (10 goals, 10 assists, 30 points), who scored two goals and added an assist in the two overtime periods, while Julian Madrigal (five goals, three assists, 13 points in 11 matches) ripped a pair of free kicks into the back of the IVC net to give Coast the lead for good. Chase Bullock added a goal and an assist, while goalkeeper Pablo Ramirez came up HUGE late with back-to-back penalty kick saves in overtime to help preserve OCC's lead on the Lasers. Ramirez finished with 11 saves and will be called upon to make more big stops against a solid Warriors' program who has just one loss over their past 10 matches (5-1-4).
In addition to these Pirate standouts, look for fellow freshmen Takumi Taniguchi (six goals, six assists, 18 points) and Tino Varona (six goals, three assists, 15 points) to add to the OCC scoring depth, while on defense, the Pirates have been led from the back of the formation, courtesy of freshmen defenders Anthony Tobon, Max Copeland and Jake Whitcomb, all of whom earned first-team, All-OEC honors this year. In addition to that dynamic trio, two more defenders -- sophomore Cayden Bonner and freshmen Tyler Beteag -- earned second-team, All-OEC honors, anchoring a defense that allowed just 22 goals total in 21 played.
For the Warriors, they have been unbeatable to every team in the state not named Cerritos College this year and have done it with just enough offense and a disciplined defense (17 goals allowed in 20 matches with 10 shutouts). Leading scorers for ECC include freshman midfielder Melvyn Perez-Cortez (six goals, four assists, 16 points) and sophomores Oliver Diaz (five goals, four assists, 14 points) and Eduardo Grados (five goals, two assists, 12 points). In goal, freshman Luis Garibay has been a brick wall for the Warrors with 53 saves and eight shutouts in 1,440 minutes played.
The winner of Tuesday's match will play in the third round on Saturday, with opponent, location and time to be determined. Log onto www.occpirateathletics.com for the latest playoff information as it becomes available.
Ticket prices for Tuesday's match are ...
- $12 for Adults
- $8 for students, staff and seniors over 60