COSTA MESA -- It was another strong first half that proved to be the difference for the Orange Coast College men's soccer team as the Pirates cruised to a 3-0 Orange Empire Conference over visiting Irvine Valley on Friday in a pivotal Orange Empire Conference matchup.
Coast (7-6-3 overall, 5-4-1 in OEC) got the early upper hand and never let go as the Lasers (5-5-2, 2-5-1) dropped their second straight decision.
In the 7th minute, a nice run by Vitor Gameiro led to a perfect cross pass onto the foot of Alexis Garcia and the freshman forward ripped a shot past IVC goalkeeper Nathan King and into the back of the net, putting OCC up, 1-0.
Just over 10 minutes later, Nicholas Cardenas carried possession up the middle and split the defense with a nice feed to Achref Beldi, who went 1-on-1 with King on the left side. Beldi calmly found the open corner and ripped a shot past King in the 18th minute, putting the Pirates up, 2-0.
On the last play of stoppage time in the first half, IVC was called for a foul just outside the penalty area and from there Gameiro, last year's conference Most Valuable Player, did not miss, ripping his shot over the Lasers' wall and into the corner of the net to send Coast into halftime up, 3-0.
IVC tried to find some early offensive spark in the second half, but the Pirate defense and goalkeeper Thiago Lino Da Costa were up to the challenge. Da Costa notched five saves (four in the second half), including a pair of point-blank opportunities by IVC and kept the Lasers off of the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Strong first-half defense by Parker Roberson and strong second-half defense by Devin Parker, Meven Anglade and Kosei Shiotsu helped the Pirates exact some revenge on the Lasers, who beat OCC, 3-0, back on Sept. 18.
OCC will return to action on Tuesday at Golden West College, beginning at 3 p.m. OCC's next home match will be on Tuesday, Oct. 30 against Cypress, also at 3 p.m.