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John Walitsch


Above: John Walitsch following his final VC Soccer game.


Warriors Go Down With Their Boots On 2/5/08

After finishing 7th in the WCAL this season, the Warriors were tasked with playing second seeded Mitty in the first round of the playoffs.  Mitty finished behind Bellarmine, with a 10-2-2 record.


The game was played at Mitty, and on their wet, but surprisingly firm field.  The grounds crew was on hand to make sure that the field was taken care of, but as it turned out, there was no rain during the game.


Knowing what was on the line, the Warriors took the field to face Mitty.  In the two meetings this year, the Monarchs won 2-0 in both.


The game started high paced as usual, with Mitty threatening VC's backup 'keeper, Danny Hittler, early and often.  The Warriors defense did well to keep Mitty off the scoreboard, until about 15 minutes into the game.


A Mitty player took a loose ball in the box, and converted from 10 yards with a left footed blast that found the upper corner of the net. 


"That was a very untimely goal for us.  I thought Danny was well positioned, but you're never going to save a shot like that.  Fantastic goal for Mitty."  Basanese said regarding Mitty's goal.


The game went to half with the Warriors trailing 1-0. 


In the second half, VC switched to 3 forwards up top to try for the equalizer.


"I asked the guys at half if they wanted to keep it close, or go after it.  Everyone wanted to go after it, and so did the coaches.  So we switched to three up top and decided that if we're going down, we're going down with our boots on."  Basanese said.


The pressure would help as VC had several scoring chances in the second half. 


Trevor Plug took a nice pass from Alex de Leon and got in alone with the keeper.  His shot was saved, but it represented the will that the Warriors showed in the second half.


Eventually, Mitty got another goal after Hittler made a great save.  The Mitty player was waiting near the penalty spot, and finished the rebound into the open net.


Danny would be called on again later in the game when an interesting penalty call led to a Mitty PK.  Danny read it perfectly and dove to his right to save the shot, no rebound.


"They say that the ball doesn't lie on penalties, and they didn't deserve that PK.  Danny was big for us today, I'm extremely proud of him, that was a great save in an important time."  Basanese said.


The final whistle blew on the Warriors season, with a 2-0 defeat to Mitty. 


Coach Basanese will remember this season fondly, though it will be tough to say goodbye.


"This senior class is awesome.  The kids who will be graduating are young men that I'm really proud of.  They battled all year, through injuries and guys playing out of position.  We had solid leadership, and they kept us going all season long."


"I'm going to miss each of their personalities, and spending time with them, frankly.  It's never easy, but this year it's really hard for me to say goodbye. "


"As for this game, I challenged the kids to give everything they had.  I really felt like that's exactly what I got from them, and for that I'm really thankful.  These young men can each hold their heads high, we hung with a great team today."  Basanese concluded.


The Warriors will gather a few more times before the season ends, this Thursday the 7th, and March 3rd for the Winter Awards Banquet.


Stay tuned to the websites for updates regarding awards!


John Basanese took some amazing pictures at the game.  They can be seen here.  Thank you Mr. Basanese!!


VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Kevin Tarangioli

Valley Christian 0 0 0
Mitty 1 1 2

VC Starting Lineup:  Hittler, Walitsch, Seaman, Cardoza, Cordeiro, Tarangioli, Joseph, Reyes, Rosa-Diniz, Fahmy, Alex de Leon

Game time:  11am
Weather:  Cloudy, cold, windy