Sloppy win helps keep Comets tied for first

By Efrain Valdez, Advocate Staff

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The men’s soccer team (8-7-2 overall) beat Merritt College (3-8-4 overall) 2-1 Friday on the Soccer Field to extend its Bay Valley Conference winning streak to four games.

The Comets scored an early goal before the one minute mark when forward Anthony Maytum received a perfectly placed ball from midfielder Juvenal Pena putting Maytum in a one-on-one situation against the keeper. He curled the ball into the net giving Contra Costa College an early 1-0 lead.

“Juve slipped me through the two defenders and I knew I had to finish that one,” Maytum said. “I looked at the keeper and saw he was a little to the left so I decided to hit it first and curl it around him.”

Comet coach Nikki Ferguson said, “We went up early and it seems like (when that happens) we get sloppy. It never fails against this team (Merritt). The last time we scored in the first minute of the game, just like today, was against them.

“We were by far the better team today, but the scoreboard does not show that. But I can’t be too unhappy,” Ferguson said.

“At the end of the day, we got the victory. I am happy with that and it keeps us in contention to win the conference,” Ferguson said.

Merritt coach Geoffrey Aguiar said, “The first couple of minutes were rough for us and they (the Comets) jumped on us early. But after that it was toe-to-toe.”

For the first 15 minutes of the game CCC had total control of the game. But then the Comets began to give up possessions through careless passing and questionable dribbling.

“At the end of the day, we can’t be satisfied. We did score some quality goals, but we’ve got to maintain a high level of focus,” Ferguson said.

In the second half of the game, for about the first 20 minutes, the muddy conditions made the quality of play almost unbearable at times thanks to the poor footing and kick ball like play.

With 25 minutes left in the second half the Comets had multiple players combine with a string of beautiful give and go passes. This allowed forward Jordan Flechero to get through and give a wonderful pass across the box to forward George Burrows who finished the open net tap in goal.

“Our position on the table is what really showed the difference between both teams,” said Comet goalkeeper Eduardo Escamilla.

With the 2-0 lead and 10 minutes left in the game the Comets kept pushing numbers forward to try and add another goal which left a lot of space for the Merritt attackers.

With six minutes left in the game Thunderbird midfielder Aimen Sharay received the ball and shot an absolute screamer past the Comet goalkeeper who was caught off of his line.

“I was a little past my line, just a few steps off. He took a killer shot and I took two steps back and attempted to get there, but it was a great shot,” Escamilla said.

After Merritt’s goal the game went through some tense dying minutes when both teams flew up and down the field looking for a goal.

“Considering how tight things are (in the conference standings) it would have been great to get that clean sheet if it goes down to goal differentials,” Ferguson said.

“Goal difference does play a huge part in the table, however I think if we win the remaining four games regardless of how many times we get scored on we will repeat as champions,” Escamilla said.

CCC did have its moments of brilliance throughout the game, which showed that they were the better team. But the inconsistency through the 90 minutes of a game is their Achilles’ heel.

The Comets’ latest victory keeps them tied for first place with Napa Valley College (whom they beat 2-1 in the first meeting). Which sets up a potential winner-takes-conference game against Napa Valley on Nov. 10th at the Soccer Field

Beforehand, CCC will go on the road for its next two encounters against Mendocino College today and against Yuba College Friday. Both games start at 4 p.m.

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