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MCC men’s soccer falls short in conference; off to state finals

OCEANSIDE — Head Coach Frank Zimmerman led the MiraCosta College men’s soccer team to end the season one game shy of winning the Pacific Coast Conference.

“We had a good season,” Zimmerman said.

It has been a good year for the team that is playing its second consecutive season under Zimmerman, after a year hiatus prior to his arrival.

The Spartan’s record this year is 10 overall wins, five ties, four losses, and seven conference wins, two ties and three losses.

Zimmerman said the season has had its challenges. During the college showcase MiraCosta lost three consecutive games.

“The fire we put ourselves in helped us find our identity,” Zimmerman said.

The Spartans came together and had a seven-game winning streak.

Zimmerman said the team has been “attack-minded” this year.

He credits midfield players Sergio Lopez, of Fallbrook High School, Ruben Esparza of La Costa Canyon High School, and Tito Cruz of Carlsbad High School.

“We have the most talented midfield in the conference, without a doubt,” Zimmerman said.

During the season MiraCosta faced four-year school UCSD, which beat MiraCosta 4-0.

“They are some big boys,” Zimmerman said.

The final blow was a tie game with Mesa College that meant losing the conference title by one point.

“If we would have won the conference, it would be the first title since the 1980s,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said the re-established team is getting progressively better each year. This year 11 sophomores played for a second year, and brought added strength, maturity and cohesion to the team.

He added team members share a “family love” that helps them communicate, read each other during plays and know fellow teammates have their back. This bond developed during the season through team building activities on the field and on road trips.

“We have quality people on our team, they get the credit,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman has deep roots in local soccer. He served as assistant coach at MiraCosta College and Palomar College, 16-year head coach for the Oceanside High School and director of coaching for the Soccer Club of Oceanside. Zimmerman also played on the MiraCosta College men’s team in the late 1980s. On Nov. 23 MiraCosta played its first state conference game against Fullerton College. The Spartans go into state playoffs with a No. 9 ranking out of 14 teams.