The San Bernardino Valley College men's soccer team had its hopes for a third consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship come crashing down Friday, as the Wolverines fell to MiraCosta College 2-1 in the season finale.
The loss, combined with College of the Desert's victory late Friday, gave the Roadrunners the conference championship. And with the Wolverines finishing the regular season with a record of 10-9-3, there is no guarantee their second place finish in the PCAC will be enough to guarantee a spot in the postseason.
SBVC took the lead Friday in the 19th minute. The Spartans cleared the ball to midfield, where it bounced to Misael Castaneda's feet. Castaneda, who had just entered the game as a substitute, sent the ball high into the wind toward the goal. The wind knocked down the long ball, and it sailed over the outstretched arms of goaltender Andrew Clayton and underneath the crossbar for a 1-0 lead.
But two defensive breakdowns cost the Wolverines. In the 36th minute, a failed clearing attempt by the Wolverines' defense fell to the Spartans' Eddie Franco, who fired past goaltender Luis Enriquez to tie the game at the half.
The Wolverines pushed forward for the go-ahead goal in the second half, but their efforts were handicapped when Cesar Becerra was sent off for a hard tackle in the 81st minute.
With SBVC forced to play down a man, the Spartans took advantage. Rafael Carmeiro took a cross on a bounce and headed a shot that bounced off the far post, right back to him. Carmeiro had an wide open net, and he didn't miss, giving MiraCosta the game-winner.