In their most emphatic win of the season so far, the Bakersfield College Renegades routed the East Los Angeles Huskies 4-0 Tuesday afternoon, evening up their record at 2-2-2 after a slow start to the year.
Four different players — Kevin Ramos, Marco Guerrero, Daniel Nino and Edwin Ramos — scored for BC, which dominated the Huskies (0-2-4) in the offensive end in what amounted to a mirror image of the Renegades’ 4-0 home loss to Fullerton two weeks ago.
“Our attitude, our intensity, and our desire to get after every play has changed in the last 10 days,” BC coach Vayron Martinez said. “We’ve seen it at training, we’ve seen it in our last few games.”
The shift was evident from the start of Tuesday's game. Guerrero menaced the Huskies from the opening whistle, repeatedly making long runs into enemy territory and maintaining possession through attempted tackles. In the sixth minute, spurred by an excellent throw from goalkeeper Adrian Sandoval, Guerrero nearly slipped a cross past the ELAC defense with the outside of his right foot but couldn’t quite pick out Andrew Gonzalez.
Three minutes later, Guerrero would get his assist, dribbling through the legs of Huskies center back Anthony Bautista and firing a shot that produced an easy goal for Kevin Ramos off a rebound.
The Renegades kept pushing after their opening goal and ELAC’s defense was easily flustered, repeatedly giving away position in its own end. In the 30th minute, a scrum in the goalmouth led to a point-blank indirect free kick when a Huskies defender trapped the ball between his legs. ELAC promptly stacked its entire team in the goal but Guerrero still scored off a deflection.
“We’re not counting on just one guy to score for us,” Martinez said.
This gave the Renegades their first two-goal lead of the season.
“We really came out lackadaisical,” ELAC coach Eddie Flores said. “The first half was just horrible. Two mistakes, and I give credit to Bakersfield — they were on it.”
Joaquin Toledo entered for ELAC late in the first half and gave the Huskies their first real spark of the game. But even as he made trouble up the wing from his defensive position, his crosses frequently went wide or found offside targets.
The second half would be a significant test for a Renegades defense that conceded nine goals in one three-game stretch. They were almost caught flat-footed just thirty seconds into the half, when ELAC’s Bryant Guerrero found space on the right side of the box and fired a shot that bounced awkwardly off of Sandoval into a vulnerable position. Swinging wildly for the ball, the Renegades' defense was able to clear it over the bar and then defend a pair of ineffective corner kicks.
From then on, it was all Renegades yet again. The offense was rough around the edges but effective; after the Huskies failed to clear a series of errant crosses in the 73rd minute, the ball bounced right at the feet of Nino on the right side of the goal, and the freshman forward beat Jonathan Ortiz once more.
The Huskies’ lack of concentration began to show through a series of late fouls. Midfielder Vincent Mendez was sent off in the 78th minute for a hard tackle that felled Ricky Nino. The Renegades brought in a variety of reserves, but in stoppage time, Nathaniel Cano was tripped in the box and Edwin Ramos put away a penalty low and to the left past the outstretched arms of Ortiz, concluding the game at 4-0.
“Cano at the end there, getting a penalty, and Edwin had just gone in as well — the confidence he had to put it away, it’s wonderful,” Martinez said.
With a challenging matchup against Santa Barbara pending on Friday, the Renegades now have two wins under their belt.
“I think it’s very good, after a slow start to the season,” Marco Guerrero said, “to get back on and start a winning streak.”
ELAC will go “back to the drawing board,” Flores said, before hosting Cypress Friday night.