With an exhilarating late goal in stoppage time, the FLC men's soccer team handed previous Big 8 leader Delta College their first conference loss on Friday afternoon, winning 2-1 at Falcon Stadium. Both teams entered the match knowing the stakes; Delta held a slim one-point lead over the Falcons prior to the match, meaning the winner would be the Big 8 leader going into the final week of the season. Though the Falcons lost a 1-0 battle to Delta over a month ago in Stockton, they had the home field for Friday's rematch. Falcon sophomore forward Chase Gray gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute with a header off a corner kick by Adrian Jimenez. That score would hold until midway through the second half, when Delta countered with a tying goal that shifted all the momentum in the Mustang's favor. With Delta now energized and knowing that a tie would only help the Mustangs, the Falcons had to somehow find a way to score. As time ticked away, it looked more and more like the match would end in a tie. But with the clock off and the match now extending into stoppage time, the Falcons found their magic. Chase Gray got past his defender on the left side, made a move to create some space, then sent a perfect crossing pass that found freshman Adam Ratto in front of the goal. Ratto headed the ball off the Mustang goalkeeper's hip into the net for one of the most dramatic goals in FLC soccer history. The men still had to fight off a furious Mustang attack for another wild minute or more, but when the final whistle sounded the celebration was on. The state-ranked #8 Falcons (now 6-1-1 in Big 8 play) had taken over first place by 2 points over #5 ranked Delta (now 5-1-2).
The Falcons will finish out the regular season with two away matches this week; Tuesday afternoon at American River (2-4-2) and Friday at Santa Rosa (5-2-1).