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VC Opens Season With Draw Against Gunn 11/20

The Valley Christian season opened with a draw against perennial CCS power, Gunn High School.


The starters for Valley Christian included five players who had never played on VC's varsity team.  The game had several challenges, one of which was that starting goalkeeper Austin Mansker was out of town with his club team.  As a result, starting center midfielder, John Walitsch started out in goal for the Warriors.


The game started out well, with the Warriors holding possession for much of the first half.  Twenty minutes into the game, VC won a free kick just 10 yards past midfield.  Senior Captain, Ross Mark, stepped up to take the kick.  His long lofted drive caught the 'keeper off guard and bounced into the upper right corner of the goal, 1-0 Valley Christian.


Just four minutes later, the Warriors added another goal, this one after a great buildup and finish.  Ryan Favre's hustle created a turnover deep in Gunn's end, and the ball fell to Sophomore Kevin Tarangioli.  Kevin, played a perfectly weighted pass to an onrushing Aaron Hutton.  With the Gunn 'keeper charging, Hutton placed the ball into the net with authority from about 16 yards out.  2-0 VC.


Coach Donny Fugate had this to say about Aaron's goal. "That was a magical finish!  It took a lot of composure with the Goalkeeper coming out like that."


Ryan Favre made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute, or so everyone thought.  A questionable call ruled the play offside.  An unlucky break, especially considering the fantastic finish.


At the end of the half, Gunn would equalize when Light, Gunn's speedy forward got in behind the VC backline.  At halftime, it was 2-1 VC.



Above: Coach John Basanese instructs the team at halftime


The second half started out with more of the same.  A couple of near misses by VC kept Gunn in the game.  The defense, led by Senior Captain Nathan Goldsmith did well to contain a dangerous attack.


"The defense impressed me today.  I still really feel that as a team we're only about 50% there, but today the defense really showed me something.  Nathan did just what I asked, and I think we were effective."  Coach John Basanese said after the game.


With the game in injury time, Gunn finally got through.  In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Gunn was awarded a corner kick.  The ball went through the back, and was crossed back.  A Gunn player, Shaffer, got his head on the ball and barely beat Walitsch. 2-2.


The game ended 2-2, overall a great first game for the Warriors.  VC will welcome home Austin Mansker, and Alex de Leon who will rejoin the team tomorrow. 


"Having Austin back will allow Walitsch to play his normal position.  As well as Kevin and Joseph did in there today, it'll be great to have John on the field." Fugate added.


The Warriors will travel to play at Leigh High School on Wednesday. 


"I'm proud of the kids.  We (the coaching staff) really challenged them with some things today.  We had some new kids out there, who hadn't played at this level before, and they responded.  It's a great start for us, though I never like to tie.  We have lots to work on, and we should be ready for the Leigh game." Basanese concluded.


More photos from the game can be found here.


Come out and support the Warriors @ Leigh this Wednesday at 3:15pm.


Note: The boys JV team lost a nail biter to Gunn's JV 5-4 in Dan Benton's coaching debut.


Note 2: VC Alumni Brandon Stirm scored the game winner in the NAIA National Soccer Tournament today.  Azusa Pacific won that game 1-0.  Click here to read about it.


vcsoccer.com man of the match: Aaron Hutton (1g)

Gunn 1 1 2
Valley Christian 2 0 2

Scoring summary:

Ross Mark (unassisted) '20

Aaron Hutton (Kevin Tarangioli)  '24

VC Starting Lineup: Walitsch, Goldsmith, Mark, Field, Yun, Garrison, Rosa-Diniz, Tarangioli, Reyes, Hutton, Favre

Weather: Sunny but cold, 60 degrees.