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The Day After Soccer: Loud and clear

Teams making noise to open league slate

Posted: January 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

With one Foothill League game in the books, teams are hoping they sent a message.

As defending league champion, West Ranch boys soccer did so with a 2-0 victory over a Hart team that came in red hot.

The other teams to send positive messages in their league openers on Tuesday were a pair of young squads in Canyon and Valencia.

Valencia got a 1-0 win over Golden Valley thanks to a second-half goal by Jesus Fernandez, which was assisted by Michael Fischbach.

About midway through the second half, Fernandez took the ball on a breakaway toward the left side, where he kicked a left-footed shot inside the far post.

It was just what the Vikings were hoping for after a difficult first half.

“We didn’t play our best soccer, and I was a little bit on the guys because I felt like they didn’t come into the game mentally prepared for our first league match,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. “It was 0-0 at half and I leaned into them pretty good.”

Goalkeeper Gino Ferraro recorded the shutout for a Valencia team that gained much-needed experience playing against league foes.

Next on the schedule for Valencia is Canyon at 5 p.m. Friday at Canyon High.

Last year, the Vikings and Cowboys tied a pair of highly contentious meetings.

“Going into Canyon is always tough,” Scalercio said. “We’ll be prepared for a battle.”

On Tuesday, Canyon managed to double up Saugus 4-2 behind two goals from A.J. Rochow and one apiece from Zachary Jens and Chad Ybarra.

Jorge Navarro and Jordan Escobar both tallied assists in the game.

The day’s only tie came on the girls side when Hart and West Ranch drew 1-1.

In a game where both teams struggled to maintain possession and couldn’t capitalize on opportunities, the scoring finally opened up early in the second half.

In the 44th minute, Hailey Reynolds scored off of a throw-in by Taylor Ayers to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

“That’s exactly when we started to play and things turned, and we were fortunate that again we had a couple more opportunities, but we just couldn’t get them in,” said Hart head coach Mike Gomez.

Eventually, the Indians did get the ball into the back of the net when Jenny Chavez knocked in a Destinney Duron throw-in with just nine minutes to play.

“I think every single game is going to be close, but as a coach, you walk away feeling good about tying a team like that,” Gomez said.

Hart will face defending Foothill champion Saugus on Friday at 3:15 p.m. in a matchup of the top two finishers in league from a year ago.

Saugus is coming off a 2-0 win over Canyon on Tuesday.

Valencia was also a winner in its league opener, besting Golden Valley 1-0.

Shelby Walsh scored the game’s only goal about 15 minutes into the second half.

Her score cashed in one of the Vikings’ 18 shots on goal and eight corner kicks.

“We were able to play our game,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell. “We played fast, we played connected and it was good. I was thrilled with how we played and the only area we really need to work on is finishing.”

Valencia’s ability to finish will be tested heavily in the coming weeks, as the Vikings prepare to face Canyon, Saugus and Hart in their next three games beginning with Canyon at 5 p.m. Friday.


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