Men's Soccer Takes 7th In SCC Tourney, Finish Above .500

Angel Ballesteros plays the ball during PCC's season finale (photo by Richard Quinton).
Angel Ballesteros plays the ball during PCC's season finale (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College men's soccer team closed out the 2023 season with a 2-0 win over Compton in the seventh place final of the South Coast Conference Tournament held Tuesday at Robinson Stadium.

With Friday's 3-2 home win over East Los Angeles, the Lancers finished above .500 for the first time since 2019 at 9-8-4 under Francisco Cantero, in his first year as men's head coach. 

Angel Ballesteros took a lead pass from James Baker then held up by a Compton defender, got off a strong roller from the 15-yard line into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 PCC lead. At the 38-minute mark, a long ball pass by Jose Perez allowed Miguel Medina to race in and fire a a hard drive from 18 yards for a commanding 2-0 halftime lead. 

The Lancers held off Compton's push in the second half behind as goalie Matthew Gilmore made a number of strong saves, 10 in all, to record the shutout. Defensively, Andrew Perez, Alek Kaprielian and Jorge Cedillo were solid in keeping the Tartars from getting other scoring chances. 

In the win over ELAC, after a scoreless first half, both teams traded goals as Ballesteros, taking a long ball from Chris Amador and scoring on a breakaway blast in the 54th minute. Tied 1-1, Perez led James Baker, who drove in a goal from the 10-yard  line in the 58th minute. Again, the Huskies would tie it when Yudelfi Echeverria scored on a 1-timer in the box at the 70-minute mark. 

PCC took the lead for good just four minutes later when Ballesteros fed Alejandro Concepcion who knocked in the game-winner. 

Cedillo led the Lancers in scoring with 10 goals while Juaning Balmelli and Perez were the top playmakers with four assists each. Ballesteros was second in overall points behind Cedillo (22) with 11 on four goals and three assists.

Gilmore posted a .777 save percentage, making 80 saves in 12 games and a 1.99 goals against average. 

"It was pretty gratifying to have a winning record as we fought hard in the tournament games," Cantero said. "We have something to build on for next season and we hope to only get better as a program."

PCC will find out who receives All-SCC recognition at a later date.

James Baker makes a play during the ELAC win