Despite rallying from an early 2-0 deficit, College of the Canyons dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Victor Valley College on Friday.
Less than one minute into play, COC's Jose Chavez had the first scoring chance of the match, firing a shot from just outside of the box. But the ball sailed just over the bar.
In the 10th minute, Victor Valley found the net first as Miguel Zarate dropped a perfect pass to Sebastian Arciniega who fired a shot from just outside the box into the corner of the goal.
Cougar Joshua Ausherman delivered two shots, in the 17th and 24th minutes, but neither shot found the mark.
In the 25th minute, Arciniega found himself free just outside the box, and once again, he delivered a powerful kick into the back of the net.
At the 38 minute mark, Cougar Aaron Winsick unleashed a shot from outside the box, but it found the waiting arms of the Rams' goalie.
With under two minutes to go in the opening half, Canyons was able to fire off three shots as a wild scramble took place near the top of the box. But each shot was blocked before the Cougars turned the ball over with a foul.
Moments before the halftime horn, Cougar Byron Perez found just enough space to unleash a shot from about 30 yards out. His shot went just beyond the outstretched arm of the Rams' keeper into the back of the net, giving the Cougars their only goal of the half.
Similar to the first half, the Cougars had an early scoring opportunity in the first minute as Winsick unleashed a shot from inside the box. His shot was blocked for an early corner.
The Cougars made the most of the corner as Bastian Steffan found enough space amongst the traffic in the box to deliver a header just beyond the goal line to even up the score.
The second half became a battle of the midfield as neither team was able to muster a legitimate scoring opportunity until the 62nd minute. Ivan Monreal of the Cougars cleaned up a broken play by unleashing a shot from inside the box that went just wide the far post.
In the 64th minute, it was the Rams who once again took over the lead when Antonio Cantu delivered a whirling kick just beyond the diving reach of Cougar keeper Justin Socarras. Diego Manzo assisted on the goal.
With 13 minutes remaining, the Cougars were awarded a free kick from just outside the box. Matthew Garcia's pass found his mark in the box, but two Cougars headed the ball just wide of the goal.
The Cougars had three attempts to score the equalizer late in the contest, but each shot went wide of the mark.
Victor Valley put the game on ice with under a minute to play when Silvano Gonzalez found space on a run out and chipped a shot just over the head of Socarras for the Rams' fourth and final goal.
The Cougars will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 17, when they travel to Bakersfield for a 7 p.m. match.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
—Photo credit Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information