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image c/o Shanai Auguis
image c/o Shanai Auguis

Bobcats win OEC opener

The Saddleback men's soccer team won its first Orange Empire Conference game in history with a 4-2 victory over Cypress College on Tuesday inside the stadium.  The Bobcats have now won three straight games.

Saddleback's inaugural season was bound to have a bevy of firsts, and they picked up another on Tuesday by winning their first-ever conference game.

Cypress scored first in the 14th minute when Rafay Shafique beat Saddleback keeper Nicolas Harrison for a 1-0 lead.  The lead would be short-lived as Saddleback evened the score in the 19th minute when Andrew Jun took a penalty kick after Joel Smith was fouled inside the box.  Jun beat Cypress keeper Jared Johnson to the left side and the score was suddenly tied at 1-1.

Saddleback took the lead in the 61st minute when Spencer Simis took a beautiful pass from Joel Smith and planted it into the net.  The goal seemed to light a fire into the Bobcats, who added two more goals in the next 16 minutes.  Sepand Soutehkashan made it 3-1 off a wonderful feed from Dominic Ochoa in the 69th minute and the Bobcats were off and running.  Soutehkashan then capitalized on a ball-handling error from the Charger keeper to make it 4-1 in the 77th minute.

Saddleback is now 4-1-1 overall and 1-0 in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) play following the win.  The Bobcats have now three straight games and ran their unbeaten streak to five games with the win.  During the five-game stretch, Saddleback has outscored its opponents 18-6.

Saddleback will continue OEC play on Friday when it travels to Santa Ana College to take on the Dons.  The game scheduled to start at 3:00 PM.