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Men's Soccer: Pirates, Vikings all tied

OCC rallies to forge deadlock as both teams remain unbeaten.

September 10, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — Unlike what happened five days hence, Orange Coast College men's soccer coach Kevin Smith said he believed, on the field at least Tuesday night, his team got what it deserved.

Days after a blanket probation was announced for violating off-season practice restrictions on Friday, for which fall sports teams including men's soccer had to give up one schedule contest as a penalty, the Pirates rallied to earn a 1-1 tie against a strong Long Beach visiting side.

"I don't feel like we did anything wrong," Smith said of the imposed probation for all OCC sports, which is being appealed to the California Community College Athletic Assn. "I don't think we gained a real advantage for what happened and I think, for our kids to lose a game ... I thought it wasn't their fault."

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There was more praise than blame delivered to the Pirates' players on Tuesday as they battled under the lights of LeBard Stadium against the Vikings in an early season clash of unbeatens.

Long Beach entered 2-0, including a road upset of a Taft squad ranked No. 5 in one national preseason poll.

OCC came in 1-0, having canceled its scheduled game on Friday against Los Angeles Harbor to satisfy the terms of the probation.

Long Beach, which produced a 21-15 advantage in shots, opened the scoring in the 53rd minute, the only time it got the best of OCC freshman goalkeeper Nathan Brown, who finished with 12 saves, including a handful of highlight-reel, diving stops.

Brown, in fact, made a quality save on the scoring play, turning away a strong shot from about 10 yards directly in front of the cage by Long Beach sophomore forward Jose Torres.

The rebound, however, caromed back toward oncoming freshman forward Jose Pineda, who popped it inside the near post, before Brown could recover.

The Vikings' only lead was, however, short-lived.

Just four minutes later, OCC sophomore forward Jorge Sanchez, a product of Costa Mesa High, banged in a well-placed cross from the corner by freshman Drew Parrish to knot the score for good.

It was a payoff for Sanchez, a first-team All-Orange Empire Conference performer in 2012, when he led the Pirates with 15 goals and seven assists. Late in the first half, Sanchez missed a pair of quality chances when a consecutive left-footed boots sailed just wide of the frame, drawing groans of frustration from OCC fans.

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