Ball movement was the only thing keeping the Orange Coast College men’s soccer team from its first Orange Empire Conference win of the season.
Mistakes in player movement off the ball directly resulted in a lack of cohesiveness and morale throughout the team.
“We’ve had times where we have been very good, and times where we have been very average,” OCC assistant head coach Glenn Strachan said.
Friday against Santiago Canyon College, OCC played their best game yet.
Freshman standout Carlos Ambrosi scored two impressive goals to lift the Pirates to their second win of the season, winning 4-1.
“I thought today we put together an almost-perfect performance. We’ve got a lot of special players, a special team,” Strachan said. “We just needed to put things together.”
A combination of quick, fluid passing and spotless movement off the ball was the winning formula against an aggressive Santiago defense on a windy afternoon.
“We started moving off the ball, sharing the ball, and that’s how we got our goals. That makes it more fun for everybody,” Strachan said.
6-foot 3-inch freshman Victor Gameiro noticeably took control of the midfield, fighting for second balls and leading the charge in transition. He was instrumental in the buildup of Ambrosi’s second goal.
“Victor [Gameiro] sent me a through ball and I just hit it with my weak foot into the side net,” Ambrosi said.
OCC held possession in quick intervals, taking advantage of their counter attacking speed and spatial awareness.
It eventually opened the flood gates as the Santiago back line couldn’t keep up with the Pirates shifty passing sequences and tactical awareness.
The convincing win gives Coast a motivational boost as they travel to Irvine to play Irvine Valley College in their second OEC matchup of the season Friday.
“[Irvine Valley] is always very good, we will go over some specifics. The biggest thing we need to work on is keeping the ball moving,” Strachan said.
The Pirates take on a one-loss IVC Friday at 3 p.m, kicking off a two-game road trip as they travel to Fullerton College Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Pirates will return home to face their rival and conference opponent Santa Ana College, Friday Sept. 29 at 3 p.m.