MONROVIA – Temple City High School’s boys soccer team survived two late goals on penalty kicks and held on for a 3-2 victory over Monrovia in a Rio Hondo League game on Friday. Rams junior Dante Bruno-Lopez scored twice, including what proved to be the deciding goal in the 69th minute to put Temple City ahead, 3-1. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardBruno-Lopez gave the Rams a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute when he chased down a throw-in and shot across his body to the far post. Junior Jack Ren scored a goal early in the second half to give the Rams a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats (10-4-1 overall, 1-2-1 in league) struggled early without leading scorer German Rivas, who missed the game because he received a red card in Monrovia’s previous game. The Wildcats had the ball in the Rams’ half for much of the early going, but it was obvious they were missing Rivas’ offensive spark. “You can’t have a person of that caliber not on the field and have it not be an impact for a squad,” Monrovia coach Mike Martinez said. With the ball bouncing around in front of the Wildcats goal, Bruno-Lopez found it as it squirted through the defense and beat Monrovia goalie Mario Umanzor. “Dante has been putting goals in left and right this season,” Temple City coach Thomas La Rochelle said. “He’s distributed the ball well. He’s not there yet though. He has a lot of improvement to do and I still have another year with him. He’s only a junior.” But Monrovia responded in the second half, taking advantage of a Temple City defense that was depleted because three starters left the game at halftime to go on a church retreat. “I lost all three of my sophomore defenders,” La Rochelle said. “It changed the entire makeup of the game.” The forced lineup changes allowed Monrovia to draw a costly foul against the new defense that led to a penalty-kick goal by junior Tony Serhal in the 66th minute, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit to 2-1. After the Rams responded to go up 3-1, Monrovia midfielder Daniel Rojas again drew a foul and scored on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to make it a 3-2 game. Though the Wildcats ran out of time before they could complete the comeback, Martinez’s second-half plan seemed to work well. “That was part of our strategy,” Martinez said. “We needed to go in on their defense. I think that’s their one weak point.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!