Irvine Valley's men's soccer team had its chances, especially in the first half, but couldn't convert and ended up losing to Santa Ana, 2-1, in an Orange Empire Conference match Friday afternoon at IVC.
Santa Ana, which is ranked third in the state, scored the lone goal in the second half to break a tie and earn the victory. Santa Ana improved to 10-3-0 overall and 5-1-0 in conference. With the win, the Dons remained at the top of the conference standings.
Irvine Valley's record slipped to 0-5-8 overall and 0-3-3 in conference.
IVC got off to a solid start in the contest.
The Lasers nearly scored in the fourth minute when sophomore forward Omid Kazemi got loose behind the Santa Ana defense. Omid dribbled into the box and unleashed a hard shot to the far post, but Santa Ana keeper David Sorto was able to knock the ball away.
A few minutes later, IVC freshman defender Cesar Ortiz just missed a header in front of the goal off a pass from Kazemi.
And shortly after that, Kazemi missed with a shot wide and Rousseau couldn't get a solid shot off on a one-time attempt in front of the goal.
Santa Ana created a couple of opportunities late in the half. Luis Venegas got in behind the IVC defense, but Laser sophomore defender Andres Valentin chased down Venegas and poked the ball away.
Santa Ana did tie the score in the 39th minute. Leonardo Contreras scored on a left-footed shot off a pass from Ivan Bastida.
Santa Ana controlled much of the possession in the second half, but neither side had many attempts on goal.
The Dons took advantage of their best chance, however when Venegas headed in a free kick sent in from the right side by Antonio Solis.
IVC pushed everyone forward at the end of the match, looking for an equalizer. In the final minute, sophomore defender Luis Calderon lofted a free kick into the Santa Ana goal mouth, but the ball was cleared out by the Dons.
Sorto made three saves in goal for the Dons as did IVC freshman keeper Riccardo Antonelli.
Irvine Valley plays again on Tuesday at Cypress in the final match of the first round of conference play.