Mark Knight scored two goals on a rainy Tuesday night as the No. 4 seed Santa Barbara City College men’s soccer team blanked No. 5 Santa Ana 3-0 in a second-round Southern Cal Regional playoff at La Playa Stadium.
It was the third straight shutout and 13th straight win for the Vaqueros (20-4), who are ranked seventh in the state. They’ll travel to top-seeded Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game with a berth in the State Final Four on the line. The Mounties (17-4-3) beat No. 8 Long Beach 2-0.
Knight scored on a header in the 16th minute on a corner kick by Waid Ibrahim. Defender Kasper Dyg netted his first goal on the year in the 34th minute on a header off a corner kick from Craig Davies. Knight made it 3-0 in the 60th minute with a left-footed shot from a tough angle on the left side.
“We came out hard from the first whistle,” said Knight, who has 31 goals and 81 points this year. “I told Waid where to put it on the first goal, and he’s got the quality to do it. The last goal was a richochet off Danny’s back. I put my left foot to it and smashed it.
“Mt. SAC will be tough, but we know we can do it.”
The 13-game winning streak is a school record. Goalie Ricky Placencia has shut out six of the last seven opponents.
It was the SBCC’s second win over Santa Ana this season. The Vaqueros scored four first-half goals on Sept. 2 in a 4-2 triumph on the road.
“It was a little physical at times,” Vaquero coach John Sisterson said. “On another day, we might have had four PKs. We’ve been working on set pieces all week, so it was nice to see us score on set pieces. And Mark Knight … what a kid he is. He just keeps knocking them in the back of the net.”
I’m delighted to play Mt. SAC. I’d rather go there than go to Cerritos. I think it suits us better. It’s a grass field, and we played them tough there last year (losing 2-1 in the season opener).”
In the other Southern Cal Final, No. 3 Pasadena will play at No. 2 Cerritos on Saturday. The winners of the SoCal Finals will advance to the State Final Four Dec. 5-7 at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.
Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College‘s sports information specialist.