Taft rallies from 2-1 deficit to move into second round

Taft College hosts Skyline College of San Bruno Tuesday in the second round of the northern California men’s soccer playoffs. Kickoff at the Taft High soccer complex at Tenth and San Emidio streets is at 2 p.m.

 

The No. 3 Cougars needed overtime on Saturday afternoon to beat No. 14 Lassen and advance to play the No. 6 Trojans, who beat No. 11 Feather River 2-1.

 

Cougar midfielder Marcos Moreno drilled home a pass from Hugo Magana in the 97th minute to give TC a 3-2 lead the defense protected until the final whistle sounded just as the sun began to dip behind the Temblors.

 

TC scored first – in the 40th minute – when midfielder Clayton Torr drilled a penalty kick past Lassen goalkeeper Jordan Brown after Magana was knocked down in the box.

 

The lead was short-lived, however, after Lassen’s Brazilian forward Lucas Lima scored three minutes later and then put his team (also nicknamed Cougars) ahead four minutes into the second half with his second goal.

 

Magana evened the score in the 80th minute with a perfectly timed leaping header set up by a precise pass from the right side off the foot of Rolan Gonzalo.

 

The Cougars had some chances, the best one, perhaps, another header from Magana that went over the net just before the end of regulation.

 

The teams then squared off in two 15-minute overtime periods but all Taft needed was Magana and Moreno connecting for the game-winner seven minutes into the first OT. After that the defense took over, frustrating Lassen’s final offensive push.

 

The Cougars have given up two goals only one other time all season – a 2-1 loss to Santa Barbara Sept. 5.

 

TC coach Angelo Cutrona thought his team came out a little flat.

 

“We didn’t play that well as a team,” he said. “We trained and prepared well and ultimately it paid off. Lassen is a really good team. They are well coached and a class act.”

 

The match could have been viewed as a Kern County versus the World affair.

 

Cutrona does most of his recruiting in Kern County and the Lancaster area just over the Grapevine. Except for a few Texans, everyone’s from California.

 

Lassen’s 29-man roster has 27 players from out of the country – most from the United Kingdom (14) and Brazil (7). There are two each from Tanzania and Ireland and one each from the Netherlands and Japan. The two Americans are from Georgia and California (L.A.).

 

Round 2: Skyline (14-2-4) is the No. 2 team out of the southern division of the Coast Conference. The Trojans defeated the Cougars in a non-conference match played in San Bruno back on Sept. 12. It was the first of three consecutive TC losses. Since then the Cougars are 11-0-3.

 

No. 1 seed Fresno City College (14-1-6), co-champs with TC (15-4-3) in the five-team Central Valley Conference, drew a first-round bye and hosts No. 9 Santa Rosa, a 1-0 winner over No. 8 Folsom Lake.

well coached and a class act.”

The match could have been viewed as a Kern County versus the World affair.

Cutrona does most of his recruiting in Kern County and the Lancaster area just over the Grapevine. Except for a few Texans, everyone’s from California.

Lassen’s 29-man roster has 27 players from out of the country – most from the United Kingdom (14) and Brazil (7). There are two each from Tanzania and Ireland and one each from the Netherlands and Japan. The two Americans are from Georgia and California (L.A.).

Round 2: Skyline (14-2-4) is the No. 2 team out of the southern division of the Coast Conference. The Trojans defeated the Cougars in a non-conference match played in San Bruno back on Sept. 12. It was the first of three consecutive TC losses. Since then the Cougars are 11-0-3.

No. 1 seed Fresno City College (14-1-6), co-champs with TC (15-4-3) in the five-team Central Valley Conference, drew a first-round bye and hosts No. 9 Santa Rosa, a 1-0 winner over No. 8 Folsom Lake.