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Foothill soccer: Wildcats head into league with a win

Posted: January 5, 2010 10:08 p.m.
Updated: January 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.
In its preleague finale, West Ranch boys soccer had to overcome emotion, constant injury problems and the stylistic changes of its opponent.

And when the final whistle blew, Wildcats head coach Mo Burgess said it was an ideal game to preview Foothill League play.

Junior striker Jacob Jordan scored two first-half goals for West Ranch, which fielded its 10th different starting lineup in 10 games and beat Eastside of Lancaster 3-1 Tuesday at West Ranch High School.

"It was almost a perfect game to have before league, because they played two different styles," Burgess said. "They played kickball early, just banging it over the top. So, we had to get used to that. And the second half, they started kicking the ball around us, playing give-and-go."

Ravaged by injuries all season, the Wildcats (4-5-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead going into halftime thanks to Jordan's fourth and fifth goals of the season, both of which were unassisted.

"Sometimes he thinks he has to move faster than he does and I go, ‘Dude, you are really faster than a lot of people, so take the guys on and push it past them. See what happens,'" Burgess said. "And that's what he did."

In both cases, Jordan took the Lions' defense head-on and rifled a shot to the back of the net.

It was a deficit that Eastside (3-6) could not overcome.

"Defensively, (we) just couldn't keep up with some of their guys," said Lions head coach Matthew Lopez. "They tried to play kickball instead of playing their game, swinging and missing at some of their stuff."

In the second half, both teams sharpened their games and amped up the intensity.

Eastside senior Tim Cox took control of a lose ball, outsprinted the Wildcats' defense and sent a shot past goalkeeper Jon Price, who played another otherwise impressive game.

Price started in place of Terrance Barroso, who is battling injuries.

But physical play from the first half began to peak midway through the second 40 minutes.

Three cards were handed out, including two yellows and a red card to Wildcats senior midfielder Javier Chavez, who will miss the team's league opener on Tuesday.

The Wildcats seemingly cooled off the tempers when junior Ashton Kolander knocked home the rebound from Jordan's shot to put his team up 3-1 late in the game.

"We were just flat," Lopez said. "We weren't playing to our potential."


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