The Irvine Valley men’s soccer team had its opportunities, especially in the second half, but it was Santa Ana that came away with a 2-1 Orange Empire Conference victory on Friday at Irvine Valley.
The win kept Santa Ana in second place in the conference, a match behind Golden West, which defeated Cypress on Friday and stayed unbeaten in conference. Santa Ana improved its record to 8-3-2 overall and 5-1-0 in conference.
Irvine Valley, which lost its second straight match, 2-1, fell to 4-7-2 overall and 1-5-0 in conference.
Santa Ana got on the board first, scoring in the eighth minute. Damian Marquez played a ball forward on the right side to Ivan Orozco. Orozco’s first shot was saved by IVC freshman keeper Wilbur Olivera, but Orozco beat the IVC defense to the rebound and then fired a second shot past Olivera from a tough angle to put Santa Ana ahead, 1-0.
Irvine Valley nearly responded in the 15th minute. Sophomore striker Alex Cannas took the ball in on goal, but Santa Ana goalie Jose Garcia was able to make a save on a left-footed shot by Cannas.
Santa Ana had the next best chance in the first half. A line drive shot from outside by Ricardo Gonzalez banged off the post.
Santa Ana led, 1-0, at halftime.
Irvine Valley controlled much of the play in the second half. A header by Cannas was saved by Santa Ana goalie Chris Martinez in the 68th minute.
And freshman Abraham Montano knocked a shot over the top for the Lasers in the 70th minute.
Irvine Valley knotted the score in the 75th minute. Cannas made a break down the left side and sent a shot that went across the goal mouth. Freshman Joe Rousseau raced in on the back post and put the ball.
A few minutes later the Lasers almost took the lead. A shot on goal by Cannas was saved by Martinez. The ball rolled to Rousseau, who hit his shot over the top of the goal.
In the 84th minute the missed chances came back to haunt IVC. Santa Ana took the lead when Irvine Valley wasn’t able to clear a loose ball on a corner kick. Marquez corralled the ball and then sent it in.
It was the only shot of the second half for Santa Ana.
Olivera ended up with three saves in goal for Irvine Valley. Garcia had one save and Martinez made three saves for Santa Ana.
Irvine Valley finishes up the first round of conference action next Tuesday at Norco at 3 p.m.