Men's Soccer

Men's soccer team sees a win slip away in final minutes

Men's soccer team sees a win slip away in final minutes

Irvine Valley's men's soccer team looked like it was headed to a second straight important win in Orange Empire Conference action.

The Lasers led, 1-0, with less than four minutes left in regulation.

But Orange Coast found the equalizer and the contest ended up in a 1-1 draw on Friday at home.

Irvine Valley's record went to 6-6-7 overall and 2-4-3 in conference. Orange Coast went to 10-3-4 overall and 4-2-3 in conference. The Pirates, who went into the contest tied for first in the OEC standings, slipped just behind Golden West.

OCC takes on Golden West in a battle for first place next Tuesday.

Irvine Valley is now down to three matches left in the regular season and needs wins.

The Lasers thought they had one on Friday.

After a scoreless first half where IVC out-shot Orange Coast, 5-1, sophomore forward Benjamin Asabi had the Lasers' best chance so far on the day.

He got in behind the Orange Coast defense after a ball played by freshman forward Max Kleinhammes.

But Asabi's hard shot was sent over the crossbar.

Asabi made up for it later.

But I was Orange Coast that came back with one of its best opportunities. Danny Vargas blasted a shot from the left side off the post in the 54th minute.

Asabi got Irvine Valley on the board in the 64th minute. He worked hard near the touch line, taking a shot that was blocked by a defender. Asabi took another shot that was blocked and went back to him.

He tried one more attempt and this time his shot deflected off an Orange Coast player and went in to put IVC up, 1-0.

Irvine Valley's Kleinhammes tried to add to the lead, but his header sailed over the bar.

With four minutes left, Orange Coast found the tying goal.

Jesus Flores sent a ball through the IVC defense. OCC's Takumi Taniguchi raced Irvine Valley sophomore goalie Nathan King for the ball. Taniguchi was able to get a touch on it around King and then score into the empty net to tie things at 1-1.

And that is the way it ended.

King ended up with 2 saves in goal, while OCC keeper Pablo Ramirez ended up with six saves.

Irvine Valley plays again next Tuesday in a conference match at Santiago Canyon at 6 p.m.

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