SRJC keeps streak alive in comeback win

Bear+Cubs+sophomore+forward+Chris+Ochoa+pushes+the+ball+past+a+defender+and+fakes+out+the+opponents+goalie+to+score+SRJC%27s+first+goal.

Albert Gregory

Bear Cubs sophomore forward Chris Ochoa pushes the ball past a defender and fakes out the opponents goalie to score SRJC's first goal.

Albert Gregory, Sports Editor

The Bear Cubs came out on top with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over rival American River College in Santa Rosa Junior College’s final home game of the regular season Nov. 8. at Cook Sypher Field.

Both teams struggled to score in the first half; SRJC struggled especially and spent most of it on defense.

“I think we did a good job,” said sophomore forward Samuel Richter. “We need to come out stronger and score in the first half, set the pace in that sense.”

Both teams hatred was visible from the first whistle in what turned into a very feisty game from both sides.

“I can’t answer why it’s chippy, they’re young men and there’s a good rivalry,” Kinahan said. “I’ve played those guys 39 times and it’s never an easy game.”

American River players complained most of the game to the refs who missed glaring calls.

SRJC, though, expected the game to be like that and tried to fight through the missed calls.

“They were trying to get to us by being physical,” Kinahan said. “They play really hard-nose soccer and they were desperate to kind of get on.”

Late in the first half, Wilson Briggs got the ball on a missed pass by American River. He streaked down the field to what seemed would be an easy goal, but an American River defender came up from behind and kicked his legs out from under him. Briggs fell hard and the American River defender was given a red card and ejected from the game.

“There’s just a history with [American River] and I guess they’ve had like six red cards this year, so that’s their seventh I guess,” said SRJC midfielder Dominic Laird. “It’s just a bad blood history.”

Early into the second half American River scored in the 46th minute.

“We fought hard but we gave them a goal,” Kinahan said. “We’re losing 1-0 so we had to show some composure.”

SRJC was able to do just that by holding American River scoreless the rest of the game and scoring on goals from sophomore forwards Wilson Briggs and Chris Ochoa.

The Bear Cubs scored in the 72nd minute when Ochoa fed Briggs the ball in the box and he drove it into the back of the net.

Their next goal came in the 80th minute after Briggs stole a pass and sprinted down the field with the ball. He tried to score but narrowly missed by hitting the crossbar, luckily Ochoa was there to clean it up and sent the ball into the back of the net.

“We started off a little slow and I think we could’ve came back and played a little quicker but we got the result,” Laird said.

The Bear Cubs next match will be for the NorCal playoffs Nov. 19. Who they will face and the time of the game is still being determined.