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Warriors Drop Close Game With Bells 1/7

After a long holiday break, where the Warriors only played a single game (3-0 win vs. Sunnyside), Valley Christian rung in the new year with a WCAL gem.  The game would be between national power, Bellarmine College Prep, and VC. 


In a unique situation, Bellarmine coach, Patrick Lowney, was asked to play their home game at Santa Clara University.  The NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) was holding a coaching licensing class, and needed to observe a game as a part of it.  As a result, the chance to play at SCU was given to VC and Bellarmine.


A very interesting side effect of this situation was that several college coaches from major universities were not only in attendance, but taking notes on the game.  Obviously, these things, along with the fact that it was a night game, made for a pretty compelling match.


"I thought this was an awesome thing for the kids," coach Basanese said.


"I know they love playing at night, so any chance I have to do that for them, I jump at it.  The fact that it was Bellarmine definitely made this special.  The guys really wanted this thing."


The Warriors came into the game with a very clear game plan, and it got off to a great start.  About 26 minutes in, VC opened the scoring.


The play started at midfield when Spencer Ramsey played a nice ball to Justin Cordeiro.  Justin found Joseph Rosa-Diniz out on the left.  Joseph carried the ball 30 yards, beating Bellarmine defenders along the way, before blasting a shot that the Bell keeper couldn't handle.  The ball feel to Alex de Leon, who followed the shot, and made no mistake. 1-0.


Video of the goal can be seen here.


"That goal was not only the result of a great buildup, but a fantastic individual effort from Joseph.  That was a good defender he beat out there," Basanese said.


The game looked to be headed for halftime with the Warriors in the lead until the Bells struck in the 37th minute.  A nice give an go at the top of the box left a player in behind the defence.  The Bellarmine attacker played a deft slot pass that was finished clinically, 1-1.


The second half was more of the same.  Bellarmine controlling much of the possession, but VC attacking on the counter.  The Warrior defense did well to keep most shots off target.  All told, Bellarmine managed 6 shots on goal. 


One of those shots proved to be one of the highlights of the night.  After a great turn, a Bell forward dribbled in alone with Mansker.  Austin came out, made himself 'big' and saved the ball off his chest, keeping the Warriors level.


Video of the save can be seen here.


The Bells would not be denied, however, as they struck in the 70th minute.  A turnover near midfield left the Bellarmine offense with an odd-man rush.  Again, a great slot pass, and Mansker had no chance, 2-1.


The game ended that way, with Valley Christian coming up just short.


After the game, the coaches for the NSCAA called over both teams to applaud the game.  Following the applause, the coaches voted on a man of the match from both teams.  Austin Mansker was given the recognition, and well deserved.  It was a nice gesture to end a great night, and a really solid game.


"There were probably 200 people out there watching that game tonight.  I'm really glad that our kids were able to be a part of this.  I hate losing, but I thought that we gave it our all.  We can be proud of that.  I'm definitely proud of each of these guys tonight," Basanese concluded.


The game was filmed by Cal-High Sports, and will be shown this weekend.  Check your local listings for show times.


The Warriors will have two days off before they continue their tough WCAL schedule.  This time it's Serra at Serra, on Saturday at 11am.


A video high compilation including all 3 goals can be downloaded here.  Special thanks to Morgan and Rachel for capturing the video.


In addition to the highlights, Donny Fugate did a "webisode" on the team, that can be found here.  The webisode includes interviews of players and coaches.  Here is the link.



VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Austin Mansker

Valley Christian 1 0 1
Bellarmine 1 1 2

VC Starting Lineup: Mansker, Pitman, Tarangioli, Gizzi, Hittler, Ballard, Kuschell, Rosa-Diniz, Ramirez, Plug, de Leon


Scoring Summary:

Alex de Leon (Joseph Rosa-Diniz)

Game time:  7:30
Weather: Cold but clear.