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Chaffey rallies for 2-2 tie with Vaqueros

Shane Pitcock makes a save during Tuesday night's tie with Chaffey. He's only allowed six goals in six games. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Shane Pitcock makes a save during Tuesday night's tie with Chaffey. He's only allowed six goals in six games. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Gustavo Chavez converted a penalty kick in the 89th minute on Tuesday night, lifting Chaffey to a 2-2 men's soccer tie with SBCC at La Playa Stadium.

The Vaqueros (3-0-3), ranked No. 9 in the state, played to a draw for the third straight game. Chaffey is 4-2-1.

Santa Barbara took a 2-0 halftime lead on goals by Matthew Wilkinson at 19:04 and Victor Chavez at 44:35. Chavez set up the first goal with a high-arching 20-yard pass that landed at the feet of Wilkinson, who was racing down the middle of the field.

Wilkinson scored in the left side for a 1-0 lead. With just a few minutes left in the first half, Adrian Gamez, a freshman from Santa Barbara High, slid a pass between two defenders and Chavez was wide open for a 10-yard shot that beat the keeper.

"I think we got too excited, being up 2-0," said Chavez, a sophomore from Garden Street Academy who leads the Vaqueros with five goals. "It was unlucky at the end to have that PK called. We have to learn to keep going for more, whether it's 2-0 or 0-0."

The Vaqueros were playing without their top scorer, Ameyawu Muntari (4 goals, 13 points), who was out with an injury.

Chaffey outshot the Vaqueros 15-11 and each teams had seven shots on-goal. The Panthers had the ball on their side of the field for most of the second half, enjoying a 7-3 shot advantage and 5-1 in shots on-goal.

The Vaqueros gave up two goals for the first time since their opener, a 3-2 win over L.A. Harbor. They had only allowed two goals in their previous four games.

Chaffey cut the deficit to 2-1 at 56:33 when Juan Aguilar delivered a 33-yard free kick and Brian Luna headed it past Vaquero keeper Shane Pitcock. Pitcock made five saves, including a diving stop in the 65th minute and a leaping save to poke the ball over the crossbar in the 90th.

SBCC's Adrian Alan was called for pushing a Panther in the box on a throw-in at 88:30. He received a yellow card and Chavez fired his penalty shot into the right side 20 seconds later.

"We started off brightly, up 2-0 and moving the ball around nicely," said coach John Sisterson. "In the second half, it started to fall apart a little bit. We changed our shape and we were comfortable, then the ref gives a PK three minutes before the end.

"You can't put yourself in a situation like that after being up 2-0. Shane made a couple of good saves. You have to be careful when you're playing a team like this. Give them credit for coming back."

SBCC will travel to Victor Valley for a 4 p.m. game on Friday.