COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College men's soccer team took the lead late, then hung on for a 2-1 nonconference win over visiting Palomar College on Tuesday at the OCC Soccer Complex.
After a few missed chances in the first half, the scoreless tie was broken just three minutes into the second half and took a 1-0 lead when Danny Vargas carried the ball down the left side and fed a pass to teammate John Cisneros, who lined a low shot into the left corner of the goal, past the diving Palomar goalkeeper, Caleb Daza.
Palomar (2-3-0) managed to even the match at a goal apiece on a harmless looking play. On a long kick towards OCC goalkeeper Thiago Lino Da Costa, the Pirate sophomore slipped on the way to the ball, leaving Palomar forward Jacob Stutzman with a golden opportunity to score. Da Costa got back to his feet and delayed the process, but Stutzman ripped a shot into the the empty net in the 53rd minute to tie things up.
It stayed that way until the 74th minute when a Palomar turnover led to Julien Madrigal beating a defender and ripping the game-winning goal, putting the Pirates ahead for good.
It wasn't easy down the stretch as three different free kicks just outside the penalty area were awarded to Palomar over the final 15 minutes, but the Comets were not able to even things up.
Daza kept Palomar close in the opening half with four big saves on point-blank opportunities and finished the match with five saves total. Da Costa notched three saves for OCC.