not be good enough?
question that may cross coach E.B. Madhas mind as his Eagles
enter the home stretch of their Western State Conference season.
The Mission College mens soccer team is near perfect, 9-1-3
in conference play, 12-1-3 overall. Entering the weekend, it was
ranked fifth in the nation. But as we went to press, the Eagles
trailed tenacious conference rival Moorpark College by a point under
the ranking system that allots three points for each victory and
one for a tie. This, even though Mission College has twice
defeated Moorpark, including a 4-0 thrashing of the Raiders last
"The ties have hurt us, definitely," said Madha. "I
see a couple of games there that we should have won, not tied."
A 1-0 loss to Glendale College last week spoiled the Eagles
Only the conference champion is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.
Although eight at-large berths are awarded to the best of the runners-up,
Madha and crew do not want to leave matters to chance. Theyd
like to finish the season in a flourish, win the conference championship,
and assure themselves a playoff spot.
Three games remain, against Santa Barbara and Oxnard at home, and
Taft on the road.
us to do well this year, but not this well," said Madha, who
had only six players return from last years 11-7-5 team, along
with 16 new players. "The team isnt surprised, though.
They feel theyve worked hard and deserve to be where they
This years team is led by forward Ivan Becerra, whose 14 goals
and eight assists were tops in the conference. Emerson Maraquinn
and Andy Baena are also stand-out players, said Madha.
While the coach is clearly proud of what his high-flying Eagles
have done on the field, hes equally pleased about the educational
opportunities that have opened for his student-athletes.
"One of our key players from last year, Miller Rodriguez, is
on a full ride at Cal State, Los Angeles," said Madha. "And
Becerra and Baena are committed to play at UC Santa Barbara next
year. In fact, all six of my returning players this year will be
transferring to four-year schools."
The Eagles play their home games at Birmingham High School. The
Santa Barbara match is on November 4 at 3 p.m. The Oxnard game is
on November 10 at 1 p.m.
BY EDUARDO PARDO