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Prep soccer: The finish, the end

Valencia boys allow a late goal and exits the playoffs

Posted: February 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.

COMPTON — It started with a miscue at the end of the first half and it ended with another at the end of the second.
That was the difference.

And for Valencia High boys soccer, that was the season.

The Vikings surrendered a last-minute goal to lose 2-1 to Dominguez High of Compton on Tuesday at Dominguez High School in the wild card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.

“This game was kind of a microcosm of the whole season,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. “We get up 1-0.

We give up a goal with a couple minutes left in the first half, and then we come back and do it again in the second.”

The loss ends a second straight season where Valencia (9-6-3) went one-and-done in the playoffs after finishing tied for third place in the Foothill League.

This time around, Valencia took the upper hand early and used its usual brand of defensive soccer to hold off the contrasting, attacking style of Dominguez (10-8-2).

In the 22nd minute, Jesus Fernandez sent a ball in the air toward the middle of the field, where Marc Silingardi controlled it, then took a shot from around 22 yards away.

The ball ricocheted off the hands of Dons goalkeeper Valentin Zavalza and into the goal for a 1-0 Vikings lead.

It was one of few opportunities Valencia had on goal in the day, but it appeared to be enough at first, given the team’s stout defensive effort.

“It’s a new thing for us,” said Dominguez head coach Jose Rosas of Valencia’s defense. “Around here, pretty much everybody attacks. They just keep attacking.”

With less than two minutes to play in the first half, the aggressive plan paid off for the Dons when Edgar Vasquez lobbed a goal over the head of Valencia goalkeeper Gino Ferraro from 10 yards straight away for the equalizer.

The Dons managed 10 shots-on-goal, but Ferraro turned in a solid game, making seven saves.

“We just had a few defensive letdowns,” said Valencia senior captain Thomas Pugliese. “We didn’t come out and play as hard as we should have today, and that was the difference.”

In the final minutes of the game though, he wasn’t able to make one last save given the situation.

It started off as a promising opportunity for Valencia, which pushed extra players forward to try to capitalize on a corner kick.

When the attempt was cleared out by Dominguez, forwards Angel Comacho and Vasquez were off to the races in an open field 2-on-1 breakaway against Valencia’s Josh Singer.

The two of them passed it back-and-forth while Singer tried to gain control of the ball, but Comacho ended up knocking in the game winner.

It was also the high school career-ender for 10 seniors, including Michael Fischbach, who was the team’s only returning varsity starter to an otherwise inexperienced team.


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