LANCASTER — The men’s soccer program under Jerry Stupar has been going places in a hurry, as Friday’s chance to get a piece of the Western State Conference South championship in just the program’s third year demonstrated.
But the Marauders needed Bakersfield to beat or tie College of the Canyons to make it official.
Cam Taylor’s bullet inside the left goalpost seven minutes after the opening kickoff began eliminating the suspense at the Marauders’ end quickly.
Rodrigo Martinez ran onto Kevin Colin’s long lead pass for a missile under the crossbar in the 17th minute, and Taylor headed home Martinez’s corner in the 21st minute.
Taylor, the conference’s leading goal scorer with 15, connected again from the top of the 18-yard box for the hat trick in the 28th minute, and AVC (6-1-3, 9-5) rolled to a 6-1 victory over Victor Valley at Brent Carder Marauder Stadium.
“My brother Christian asked me before the game to score five,” said Taylor, who sat out the final 50 minutes of the game.
“Coach Stupar always drives us to be better than the day before,” said freshman center back Dylan Gonzalez, whose defense was virtually impenetrable for the Jackrabbits. “So we’re always getting extra practice, practicing on weekends, any time.
“The result is Antelope Valley College with a shot to win a conference title in just the third year of the program.”
Dakota Dunkin, like Gonzalez one of nine freshmen in the AVC starting lineup, continued a seamless transition from goalkeeper to goal scorer with two goals.
Duncan tucked one under the crossbar for a 5-0 lead late in the first half and connected from downtown, about 30 yards out, in the 76th minute.
“This is huge,” said Stupar, who founded the programs and won conference championships with the men’s and women’s teams at College of the Canyons before relocating to Lancaster and bringing AVC its first conference title in soccer in 2011. “When I came here, they wanted me to fix the women’s program. “But I was told I would get the men’s program eventually.
“So when we got the (men’s) program in 2016, I was ecstatic. To get a championship in just our third year shows the talent out here, and the dedication and believing in the philosophy of what we did on the women’s side, to have that culture here.”
The only other suspense involved whether mostly lonely keeper Matt Garcia would register a shutout.
VVC’s Angel Barajas was fouled in the penalty area and drilled a penalty kick to spoil the shutout bid in the 79th minute.