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Soccer: Knight’s Goal Lifts Vaqueros to Playoff Win

SBCC sets a school record with its 12th-straight victory.

Mark Knight took a pass from Beville Rose and scored in the 65th minute Saturday afternoon as SBCC went on to blank Cuyamaca of San Diego, 1-0, in a first-round Southern Cal Regional men’s soccer playoff match at La Playa Stadium.

It was the 29th goal of the season for Knight, who boosted his Vaqueros career goal record to 57. Knight, who helped SBCC to its first Western State Conference title since 2000, was the conference Player of the Year.

SBCC, seeded No. 4, improved to 19-4 and set a school record with its 12th-straight win. Cuyamaca finishes at 10-7-4.

The Vaqueros didn’t play their best and Knight didn’t practice all week due to illness.

“We didn’t pass it around well at all in the first half,” said Knight, who’s scored in five-straight games (nine goals) and eight of his last nine. “We picked it up in the second half. Beville did all the work (on the goal), I was just at the end of it.”

The Vaqueros will play host to No. 5 Santa Ana (17-4-3) in Tuesday’s second round. The Dons defeated Southwestern, 2-1, on Saturday. SBCC posted a 4-2 win at Santa Ana in the second game of the year Sept. 1.

Assistant coach Paul Hart coached the men because head coach John Sisterson was with the women’s team in a playoff match at San Diego Mesa. It’s the first time Sisterson has missed a game in two years of coaching the men and women.

“It’s been a funny week,” said Hart. “We’ve had a few injuries and Mark was sick. Cuyamaca played well. They defended not to concede anything early, which made it hard for us to create space and find the gaps. As the game went on, they started getting tired and we started grinding them down.

“We just needed the one opportunity and Mark took it.”

Chris Poptsis made his first start of the season at right back, moving Rose to the left side.

“Beville has been great all year,” Hart said. “He makes those runs down the line and he’s very dangerous in the box.

“When you get into the playoffs, it’s all about keeping it tight and getting clean sheets. With the firepower that we have up front, one chance is all we need.”

Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College’s sports information specialist.

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