It’s more of a basketball analogy, but it fits in this soccer context as well: Cal State San Marcos’ Juan Camilo Salazar kept shooting until he got it right.
Taking a whopping 16 shots, easily a school-record, Salazar scored twice Wednesday, including the golden goal in the second overtime in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at home that denied the UH-Hilo men in their season opener.
“We knew it was going to be a super hard game because we knew (UHH) was going to be real physical, but we were able to overcome that,” Salazar said in a school release.
While the Cougars (2-3) were playing their sixth match, including an exhibition, the Vulcans waited nearly a month to finally start the season. They didn’t have to wait nearly that long to take their first lead.
UHH second-year coach Paul Regrutto put nine newcomers into his starting lineup, but it was one of the holdovers, senior Jorge Martinez, who gave the Vulcans the advantage in the 13th minute when he put home a penalty kick, which was created when junior Bo Antonissen was tripped in the penalty box.
Of the new faces, former Hilo High standout Kalei Tolentino-Perry was among the most active, putting two shots on goal, and he nearly gave the Vuls a two-goal lead when he rattled the left post with a shot late in the first half.
“(UHH) made it difficult,” San Marcos coach Ron Pulvers said in a school release. “(UHH) deserves a lot of credit for how well they played and how organized they were.”
All the while, Salazar, who didn’t enter the match until after the halfway point of the first half, kept trying to find his first goal of the season.
The sophomore put seven shots on frame, finally connecting in the 79th minute, when he took a pass from John Williamson on the right side and raced past Vulcans defenders to put a shot past goalkeeper Michael Harre (10 saves) for the equalizer.
Salazar’s game-winner came after a throw-in and included a behind-the-back pass from Aaron Alvarez just in front of the box.
The Cougars’ 27 shots, 12 shots on goal, six saves and seven corner kicks were all season highs.
On Saturday, the Vulcans face UC San Diego (4-0), which enters it match Thursday against Point Loma having outscored its opponents 12-1.