Citrus College Men's Soccer defeated College of the Canyons 2-1 Thursday to clinch its first ever conference title. The win moved Citrus to 5-1-4 in conference play, putting them just out of reach of second place Glendale College. The conference title is also the first of the 2017-18 season for Citrus College.
Tensions were high at Citrus Stadium as both teams faced similar fates: win today for a shot at the Conference title. And although Citrus has had its share of heartbreak late in games this season, they would hold on tight today and ultimately be crowned Champions.
Citrus wold come out swinging in the first half, attacking the Canyons goal relentlessly and with a purpose. However it would be the visiting Cougars that would draw first blood when a slide tackle by a Citrus defender inside the box would gift the Cougars a penalty kick. Canyons sealed the deal and went up 1-0 early in the first half. But Citrus would not sit idly. The penalty kick would be the catalyst for the Fighting Owls as they went after Canyons with an even more aggressive attack. Constant pressure on the Cougar defense eventually paid off when Ramon Gutierrez lofted up a beauty of a through-ball to Noel Rosales, who flew through the air and headed home the first goal for the Owls.
Citrus would continue on with renewed focus and a hunger for a championship that couldn't be quenched. Fate would have it that Canyons gave up a foul inside the penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Owls. Confidently walking up to place the ball for his shot, Ramon Gutierrez tuned out the cheers of encouragement from the sidelines, and juked the Canyons goalie with a heater to the right side, scoring and putting Citrus up 2-1.
The Owls would spend the entire second half fighting off a flurry of attacks from Canyons, including a couple of close calls. The late game woes of Citrus Men's Soccer would now be a thing of the past though, as the Fighting Owls perfectly locked the Cougars out of scoring opportunities and expertly ran out the clock, ensuring the victory and sending the crowd into an uproar at the final whistle. The Citrus bench cleared in celebration and Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver would twice be drowned by full jugs of water. To make the night even more special for the Owls, it was Sophomore night for Citrus and in front of the biggest crowd of the year, the team got to show their gratitude to a group of Sophomores that will be greatly missed on the field next year.