Comets fail to secure win despite early lead


Louis Cano / The Advocate

Comet defender Reece Burkhart dribbles the ball as Roadrunner forward Marlon Rowe approaches during Contra Costa College’s draw against Butte College in the Soccer Field on Friday, 2-2.

By Drew Thomas, Advocate staff

Last Friday Contra Costa College men’s soccer team (0-4-4) played a hard fought game against Butte College (4-0-3) that resulted in a draw, 2-2.

Butte’s aggressive play rewarded them early with a penalty kick after Butte player Jao Paolo Ferreira collided with Comet forward Jorge Avina while battling for possession of the ball around 14 minutes. Butte player Breno Arauja took the penalty kick which landed right into CCC’s possession.

The game was going back and forth until Comet left midfielder Anthony Maytum passed to forward Eduardo De Loa Jr. to get around Butte defenders aggressively trying to force a turnover.

De Loa Jr. set the play up by passing the ball back to Maytum for a successful shot through the middle before Butte’s goalie Francisco Noguera could react, giving CCC a 1-0 lead to close out first half.

Comet men’s soccer coach Nikki Ferguson says, “They were coming from behind, which

increased the pressure on us a little bit.”

In the second half, Butte’s pressure on the defense forced the Comets to make mistakes which led to Butte’s Charles Cleyton getting past Comet goalie Griffin Henley to score the team’s first goal, making the score 1-1.

Butte had a game plan revolving around forcing the Comets to turn the ball over.

“We knew we wanted to press (up higher),” said Butte’s men’s soccer coach Ross Sandberg.

In the second half, both teams showed their competitive fire and came out with an aggressive attitude which led to a more physical game.

“We had a physical presence that we didn’t have all year,” Ferguson said. “We used to be on the receiving end (or the aggression). Now we’re kind of dishing it out. But they did kind of beat us up a bit.”

Butte’s Bawe Salehi broke through Comet defenders Raul Garcia and Reece Burkhart to score around the 23-minute mark taking a lead of 2-1.

Sandberg said, “It took us a while to wake up, but we wanted to come out in the second half with a (more aggressive) strategy.”

However, the Comets didn’t give up after Butte scored. Comet Eduardo Torres brought a dead end play to life by staying aggressive and scoring to make it a tie game again, 2-2.

Comet Raul Garcia showed effort to fight for ball possession against Butte’s Steven Dillion and Marlon Rowe resulting in a turnover for the Comets around the 36-minute mark.

Comet Christopher Guzman said, “The (team’s) composure in terms of finishing has to really be there, especially in those dire minutes when we really have the opportunity to win.”

The Comets tried to score another goal to take the lead and get their first win of the season, but couldn’t get the job done.

“We had a clear chance to score and finish off the game, but it just didn’t happen,” Guzman said.

In the final seconds of the game, Comet forward Jordan Flechero chased down and blocked a shot taken by Butte’s David Gomez, leaving the total shots taken by the Comets at 10. Butte had 11 shots for the game.