WALNUT, Calif. --- The best season for El Camino College men's soccer in 29 years came to an end Friday night with a 4-1 loss to Hartnell in the California Community College Men's Soccer State Semifinals at Mt. San Antonio College.
The Warriors (19-5-1) advanced to the state final four for the first time since 1992 but could not repeat the '92 team's feat of winning a state title, falling two wins short after Friday's loss to the Panthers (20-1-3).
The Panthers scored a pair of goals in each half to put an end to ECC's season, getting scores from four different players.
Andy Cabrera scored the Warriors' lone goal of the match in the first half to cut the team's deficit to 2-1 going into halftime.
With ECC down 2-0, Ricardo Martin fired a shot from inside the box that was blocked by the Panthers' defense, but the ball found itself on the left foot of Cabrera who then fired a shot from near the penalty spot. The shot deflected off another Panthers' defender and past keeper Santiago Cervantes to bring the Warriors within one in the 27th minute.
A pivotal moment came in the 53rd minute when Mario Carlos looped a perfect pass to a charging Cabrera past the Panthers defense and along the left side of the box. Cabrera, going full speed, got off a shot against a charging Cervantes, who made a kick save to keep the score at 2-1.
It was a huge moment in the match as the Panthers would add an insurance goal in the 72nd minute as Ramiro Sanchez fired a low shot on goal that Warriors keeper Luis Garibay initially stopped, but the ball had enough spin on it that Garibay could not corral it completely as it squirted past him to the left and into the net for a 3-1 Hartnell lead.
In the 81st minute, Anthony Rangel pounced on a rebound and stuffed it into the right side to give Hartnell a 4-1 lead and that's the way the match ended.
The Warriors finish the year tied for third place in the state, the program's best finish since 1992's state championship team.