A back and forth affair went in neither team's favor on Friday afternoon as the Mariners played to a 2-2 draw with the visiting Mendocino College in their Bay Valley Conference opener. Marin scored early on, then fell behind in the second half before pulling even and holding on for the draw.
The Mariners took it to Mendocino early on as Johnathan Blanco sent a cross into the box where Andres Reyes pounced on it in front of the Mendocino goal and scored. The 3rd minute goal was the first of the season for Reyes, and the assist was Blanco's third of the season. The Mariners had a few decent chances to double their advantage however they were denied. Mendocino was equally thwarted by the Marin defense and the teams went to halftime with Marin holding a 1-0 advantage.
Early in the second half the game got contentious as the physicality of the game increased. In the 57th minute a questionable grab in the box resulted in a penalty awarded to Mendocino. Carlos Rodriguez stepped to the spot and converted to tie the game at one goal apiece. Six minutes later a low cross found its way into the Marin box and a series of unsuccessful clearances left the ball in a dangerous spot. One final clearance by Marin saw the ball ricochet off the back of a Mariners defender and into the Marin goal for a 2-1 lead for Mendocino College. It was an unfortunate turn of events for a Marin team that dominated the first 60 minutes of play.
Despite the setback, Marin did not play tentatively, they attacked and were rewarded in the 63rd minute as Jason De Leon delivered an inch perfect cross into the box where Blanco met it with his head and chipped the keeper to tie the game at 2-2.
The intensity of the match only increased although the score remained unchanged. Much grabbing and pulling led to shoving which led to a few dangerous tackles. In the final minutes Marin's Jason De Leon was shown a red card for a challenge. Marin held on down a man and the whistle sounded with a 2-2 draw.
"We weren't at our best for long stretches of the game, but I am proud that the team stuck with it and was able to grind out a draw against a good Mendocino team," said Head Coach Michael Crivello.
Marin's record sits at 1-3-3, with this game their lone result in Bay Valley Conference play thus far.
The Mariners have a road game at Contra Costa College on Tuesday at 4:00pm.