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First-place Oxnard blanks Vaqueros 2-0

First-place Oxnard blanks Vaqueros 2-0

Oxnard got a goal in each half and shut out SBCC 2-0 on Tuesday night in a WSC North men's soccer match at La Playa Stadium.

The defending state champion Condors (10-0-8, 6-0-1) solidified their first-place position. They have 19 points with three matches to go. Oxnard, ranked No. 8 in the state, has won four straight and is 8-0-2 in its last 10 games. The Vaqueros (9-7, 4-3) remained in second with 12 points.

Francisco Arroyo made a long cross to Kiefer Cooksey in the 42nd minute and Cooksey scored from 11 yards out for a 1-0 halftime lead. The Condors struck again in the 62nd minute when Raul Gonzalez got the ball on a turnover and beat the keeper to make it 2-0.

"We didn't defend the back post correctly on the first goal, one of our defenders didn't pick up his man," said SBCC coach John Sisterson. "And we just gave the ball away on the second one.

"I thought we competed well. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We created a lot of chances, we just couldn't finish."

Santa Barbara outshot the visitors 17-11, including 10-3 in shots on goal. Condor goalie Matthew Escareno made seven saves and benefitted from three blocks by defenders on shots that were heading for the net.

SBCC had six shots on-goal in the second half and Oxnard had one. Callum Challinor had a good look at a header in the 51st minute but it went wide right. The Vaqueros had two more scoring chances when Carlos Espinoza blasted a 24-yard free kick in the 54th minute that was saved by a diving Escareno and in the 66th minute when William Joyce made a lob pass to Jessie Jimenez just five yards from the goal but Jimenez' one-timer went right in the goalie's hands.

"We've got to find a way to get it in the back of the net and we're just not doing it," Sisterson added. "I thought we were the better team down there (in a 1-0 setback at Oxnard) and we did the same thing tonight. It's disappointing."

The Vaqueros received two red cards in the last seven minutes. Nick Genthon got one at the 83:01 mark when he tried to kick a ball near the goal line and got the goalie instead. Joyce got the other red at 89:35.

"Neither of our guys did anything intentionally," said Sisterson. "They were both going for 50-50 balls."

The Vaqueros travel to L.A. Mission on Friday for a 2 p.m. WSC match.