Oxnard College men’s soccer is headed back to state.
Noe Eulloqui popped in the rebound of Odin Rosten’s shot in second-half stoppage time to dramatically lift the second-seeded Condors past No. 3 Fullerton, 2-1, in the California Community College Athletic Association regional finals Saturday in Oxnard.
Eulloqui (Thousand Oaks High) and sophomore forward Pedro Santos-Jimenez (Hueneme) scored the goals as Oxnard advanced to its third state Final Four in six seasons.
But not until a wild final 10 minutes after Fullerton’s Joseph Espinoza equalized for visiting Fullerton in the 77th minute.
“It was back and forth,” Oxnard coach Ross Greaney said. “It was a really exciting game. It wasn’t the type of game we were used to.
“Luckily, we were home. It was a big deal to be home. We worked all year to get that home field advantage.”
90’ GOAL: Oxnard takes the lead! Noe Eulloqui scores off the rebound from the chance created by Odin Rosten. Condors retake lead in second half stoppage time. pic.twitter.com/V7D0oLReBE
Oxnard (20-1-1) will face Merced (17-3-3), the Northern California regional’s No. 5 seed, in the state semifinals Friday at 1 p.m. at American River College in Sacramento.
Mt. San Antonio College and Taft College meet in the first semifinal at 10 a.m.
“As soon as I saw that ball go out to Odin, I saw how he was going to hit it,” Eulloqui said. “I knew that the goalie was going to give up that rebound. I had to do whatever I could to get my foot on the ball to put it into that corner.”
With the regional final tied in the final minutes, Rosten broke loose along the left and fired a low shot that was saved.
Eulloqui, a 2019 graduate of Thousand Oaks High who has persisted through a series of serious knee injuries, was in the right place to decide the game.
“Odin caused all the problems, but Noe’s effort to get in there from the midfield to score says so much about him and our whole team,” Greaney said. “Everybody has the spirit of Noe, who is so determined to make so much of this team because of everything that he’s been through.”
There was enough action for an entire match in second-half stoppage time.
Oxnard goalkeeper Efrain Perez (Hueneme) made a point-blank save, Eulloqui scored the eventual winner, Oxnard defender Julian Mendez (Oxnard) cleared a Fullerton shot off the goal line, Fullerton sent a corner kick fizzing across the goal line and Rosten hit the crossbar from a free kick after the game reached the 90th minute.
“It was a crazy game,” Eulloqui said. “As soon as they got that equalizer, they really came on top of us… They were all over us.”
Oxnard attacker Odin Rosten, a St. Bonaventure High grad, on creating the goal that sent the Condors to the state Final Four https://t.co/aYvmuGIDvN pic.twitter.com/rUoBLabqqf
Oxnard controlled the play for much of the match after Santos-Jimenez opened the scoring in the 21st minute. But the Condors couldn’t put it away and the momentum flipped after Espinoza’s equalizer on the break with 13 minutes to play.
“We’ve had to overcome a lot of obstacles,” Greaney said. “It hasn’t been the smoothest season. But because we have that kind of camaraderie and talent, we’ve been able to overcome. And now we’ve got the reward of getting to go to Final Four.”
One of the best seasons in Ventura College women’s volleyball history ended one match short of the state tournament.
The top-seeded Pirates could not overcome the loss of their All-American setter, sophomore Nevada Knowles (Ventura High), and fell to No. 9 Grossmont in four games Saturday night in the CCCAA regional finals at the VC Athletic Event Center.
“I’m so proud that we didn’t just fold,” Ventura coach Brad Lyans said. “We had a fighting chance to go to state.”
Despite the heroics of freshman Kayla Murdoch (Thousand Oaks High), who had 24 kills on 69 swings, the Pirates fell 22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-21.
“We tried to give her as many swings as we could,” Lyans said. “It worked for a little bit.”
VC gets within 23-21, but Grossmont closes it out 25-21 in the fourth to end the Pirates season. https://t.co/9OMwRt8ant pic.twitter.com/SqDDtcwnV2
Libero Autumn Rojelio Moreno (Buena High) had 20 digs for the Pirates, whose season ends at 23-2.
“I always hope that they learn lessons in everything we do here,” Lyans said. “Hopefully, they learned something that they can take with them.”
Lyans could not explain why Knowles was absent, but he said that the Pirates learned they would be without her midday on Friday and immediately called the team to campus for a second practice to find a solution.
“I can’t say anything because she’s a student and she has her rights when it comes to health,” Lyans said. “I don’t want to speak out of turn for her. It was unfortunate that she was not allowed to be in the gym this evening.”
Students that test positive for COVID-19 are not allowed on Ventura County Community College campuses for five days.
With backup setter Amelie Zubia out for the season with a knee injury, the Pirates were left without a player at the playmaking position.
Freshman outside hitter Alba Romanos Gracia, who briefly set as a freshman in high school, was selected as the emergency setter. Romanos Gracia had 22 assists and 11 digs.
“Alba is amazing,” Lyans said.
First set is tied at 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22. But VC wins the last three points of the set to win the first set 25-22 on this Grossmont error. https://t.co/KQz30duTWJ pic.twitter.com/YGfV4dp4hp
After Ventura grabbed the first set, Grossmont, seeded No. 9 despite being ranked No. 1 in the final regional poll, gradually took control of the match behind outside hitter Madi Bogle and middle blocker Kelsey Carter.
“We go with what we got and, you were here watching, we had a shot,” Lyans said.
Moorpark College women’s volleyball booked its first trip to the state tournament since 2002 with a four-set win over visiting Santa Monica in Saturday’s CCCAA regional finals.
The No. 3-seeded Raiders won their sixth straight match, advancing 25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 25-18 at Raider Pavilion.
Halle Anderson had 25 digs and Mia Paulson had 29 assists for No. 11 Santa Monica (19-8).
With the top two seeds in Southern California falling, Moorpark will be the region’s top seed at the eight-team CCCAA state championships this week at Fresno City College.
No. 1-South Moorpark (17-4) will face No. 4-North College of San Mateo (22-3) at 10 a.m. on Friday in the CCCAA state quarterfinals.
Sophomore setter Brooke Bunker (Simi Valley High) is averaging 11.6 assists per set, freshman outside hitter Cashe Olswang (Westlake) has averaged 4.27 kills per set and freshman libero Larissa Dakoske is averaging 6.4 digs per set for Moorpark, which last reached a state quarterfinal in 2003, when the round was played at regionals.
No. 2 Orange Coast, No. 3 Grossmont and No. 4 College of the Canyons are the South’s other teams in the field. No. 1 San Joaquin Delta, No. 2 Feather River and No. 3 American River are the North’s other representatives.
Joe Curley covers college sports for the Star. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @vcscolleges on Twitter for more coverage.
OC men's soccer, MC women's volleyball advance to state tournaments – VC Star
Oxnard College men’s soccer is headed back to state.