The Guardsman Online
MEN'S SOCCER EARNS NO. 2 SEED AND BYE IN PLAYOFFS
In a physical match, the Rams men’s soccer team defeated the Cañada Colts 2-1 in the finalgame of a remarkable season.
The Rams (16-1-5) are ranked first in their division and 15th in the nation, and their victory on Friday assured them a No. 2 seed and a first round bye for the upcoming playoffs. The season has been outstanding for coach Adam Lucarelli’s squad, losing only their first game. The defense allowed the fewest goals against, and forward Stephen Cordova leads the Coast Conference in scoring with 19 goals.
“Today’s game means the world to us,” Lucarelli said. “We might get a better seed in the playoffs if we win.”
The win came after a 0-0 draw against the Hartnell College Cougars, their conference rivals, on Nov. 6.
Led by the quickness of Cordova and the experienced attack of midfielder Alejandro Uribe, the Rams dominated the Colts defenders with speedy penetration and pinpoint passing. The first goal came in the 39th minute, when Uribe punched a penalty kick to the front right of the goal box where Cordova redirected the ball into the opposite corner of the net. In the 57th minute, Uribe scored after he headed a deep crossing corner assist from Cordova past a diving goalkeeper.
The Rams recorded a season-high five yellow card penalties and played sloppily in the second half.
On Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. in Balboa Park, the Rams play the winner of the first round playoff match between Hartnell College and De Anza.
The Rams finished another winning season by beating the Butte College Roadrunners 34-10 on Nov. 10 at the John Cowan Sports Complex in Oroville, Calif.
“We had a great year,” said head coach George Rush.
The Rams (9-1, 5-0) had a dominant outing. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed 25 of 49 passes for 361 yards, throwing four touchdowns and rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown, even though the rain made for wet and soggy conditions. Wide receiver Derec Davis caught nine passes for a 137 yards and had a touchdown on the day as well.
The victory was a big boost for Rush’s team who now heads to the Hawaiian Punch Bowl at Rams Stadium Dec. 1 to face the Sierra College Wolverines (9-1, 5-0) for the Northern California Football Association championship and for a chance to play in the State Championship Dec. 8.
“Sierra has an outstanding, strong running back, admirable qurterback and they have a lot of weapons on offense,” Rush said. “Their defense does a great job containing people.”
The Rams will have three weeks to prepare for the championship. The team will practice four days a week, but Rush will rest them through the holiday weekend.“There’s a lot of bumps and bruises, so they can rest a few days and regroup,” Rush said.
The Rams only loss this season came against Fresno City College 19-16 on Sept. 15. The Wolverines beat Fresno City by the same margin 20-17 on Oct. 27. Masoli threw three interceptions in the loss, but he would not throw another interception all year, completeing 66 percent of his passes the rest of the season.
“After our loss to Fresno City,” said Rush, “we tried to emphasize that disappointment was good and that all the good stuff was ahead of us. We turned out to be a great team.”
The Rams came back in the second half from an 11-point deficit to defeat the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs 28-17 at Bailey Field Oct. 27 before a sold-out crowd of 3,000 fans in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Despite being highly touted and scouted since the age of 11 while playing Pop Warner football, Gerald Williams is a soft spoken guy who prides himself most on being just another part of the Rams.
When asked to describe the defining moment of his 2007 season, Williams didn’t mention the game against Foothill College where he made 10 tackles.
“Warming up with the team, getting hyped before every game...win, lose or draw, always sticking together,” Williams said, would be the defining moment of his time with the Rams.
After being signed by perennial football power Tennessee out of high school, some of Williams classes did not clear the
“I did the research. City College has a tradition, and it’s a great place to play ball,” Williams said.
Williams is adjusting to life in California well. “It’s cool, except when the weather changes up on you.”
Despite having the combined attributes of size and speed which are needed to succeed at the next level, Williams realizes the need for a back-up plan.
He is majoring in business administration with a minor in sports management and hopes one day to own a business, whether or not he makes it to the NFL.
Asked about his plans beyond the gridiron, Williams spoke about giving back to his community in Florida.
“I dream about going back and starting up athletic teams and study programs to keep kids off the streets,” said Williams.