By Jaime Cárdenas
SWC Interim Sports Information Director
CHULA VISTA Southwestern College men’s soccer team had not played a game in more than a week heading into last week’s Pacific Coast Conference opener against Cuyamaca College at home. Head coach Robert Flores was concerned that his team might come out flat and rusty.
The Jaguars prove their coach wrong as they scored fast and often in the first half of their dominating 4-0 win. The Jags scored three goals in the first half, the first two by midfielder Miguel Custodio and the third one by Alvaro Zandejas.
“We played well,” said a humble Flores after the game. “We pressured well and our athletic ability really showed. I really wish we would have played better in the second half…”
Up 3-0 in the second half the Jaguars (1-0, 4-2-3) were less focused and disciplined, but Custodio and forward Adrian Hernandez, still managed to sealed the win in the 53rd minute.
Custodio, a dribbling wizard, put on a clinic for the Coyotes (0-1, 2-4-2) defense when he dribbled back and forth in the north end corner of the field for more than two minutes, eluding four different defenders in that sequence.
“I came to have fun, that’s what I came to do,” said Custodio the author of the games first two goals. “I always say that soccer is to be enjoyed.”
And he did, especially once he found Hernandez at the top of the box for the Jags third goal.
“I know that if I give it to Adrian right there (from that location) that he will score every single time. He has a deadly left foot,” said Custodio.
Hernandez’ goal was his third in the season. He had two assist in the first half, including setting up Custodio in the 25th minute to put the Jags up 2-0.
“He (Custodio) is a quality player that is capable of beating most players,” said Flores of Custodio who had two goals and one assist. “Technically, on the dribble he is very dangerous.”
Highlighted by the aggressive play of the defense and the dazzling ball handling skills of Custodio and the precision passing of Hernandez, the Jaguars were faster, smarter and tougher then the Coyotes in the first half.
“We are aggressive,” said Jaguars defender Antonio Romero. “First we focus on team defense. That’s how you win… it all start from the back.”
Romero, freshman from Southwest High School, has been a key component in the Jaguars revamped defense that has allowed six goals and four shutouts in nine games. Goalkeeper Armando Juarez recorded his third shutout of the season by stopping 11 Cuyamaca shots. He leads the conference in goals-against-average, 0.57, and wins, four.
Last Friday, The Jaguars tied conference leader Palomar College (7-1) at one goal each. The Jaguars came of a PK by Romero. Palomar’ goal came five minutes into added time. Their next home game is on Friday, Oct. 17 against San Diego City College (1-5-2) at 3 p.m.