The Citrus Owls fought a hard battle Friday versus the visiting Norco College Mustangs, but fell short with a 4-3 loss. The Owls struggled defensively in the first 30 minutes, and it showed when Norco forced a breakaway and capitalized. But the Mustangs were called offside and the goal was disallowed. Just before the end of the 1st half, great team play and ball movement by Citrus led to a solid put-in by midfielder Erik Cotrina. The score would be 1-0 going into halftime.
The Owls came out strong in the 2nd half of play, but gave up a Norco goal early. The Owls showed great determination on the attack though, earning themselves a penalty kick that Mariano Grandoli was able to slot away, giving the owls a 2-1 lead. Norco began to rise and gain momentum, putting pressure on the Owl's defense. Norco cracked a shot, which deflected off an Owl defender. Norco took advantage of the loose ball and Miguel Hinojosa hit the rebounded shot on the volley to score and bring the game to a 2-2 tie.
From there, the momentum clearly shifted and Norco was on the attack, earning themselves a 3rd goal. After another miscue from the Citrus defense, Norco took advantage again and created another break away. Norco slipped the ball past Citrus goalkeeper Christian Arevalo, the shot was rebounded and a great last ditch effort was made by Citrus' David Alas to prevent the ball from going in. Alas came up just short, smashing his knee against the goal post. The Owls fought hard until the end, earning a consolation goal in the 90th minute, but fell just short of the tie.
The Owls fall to 1-3-1 on the season. Citrus goes into a bye week and will prepare for games on September 19th vs Cypress and the 22nd vs. Moorpark, both are home matchups.