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Blake Cardoza


Above: Blake Cardoza brings the ball up against Riordan. Click here for full picture


Warriors Beat Riordan For First League Win 1/10

In a strange chain of events, a Valley Christian road game turned into a home league game, under the lights no less. The change was last minute, but benefited the Warriors.


"It's tough to play at Riordan.  The field is small, and for us to  have a chance to play a league game here under the lights was nice.  The field was in great shape, and I felt like the conditions were  awesome. Also, I was able to watch my JV play a league game (they  won), which is very rare," Coach John Basanese said after the game.


Injuries played a role in the starting lineup with Danny Hittler and Kevin Tarangioli being rested with nagging issues.


"We could've played them," Coach Donny Fugate said, "It just seemed like a good time to rest them ahead of a really tough game vs. SI on Saturday."


As it turned out, Kyle Grayson got his first WCAL start on Varsity and he made the most of it with several nice defensive plays.


The Warriors got on the board early when Nick Reyes took a pass from Alex de Leon and played a perfect cross into the box where George Fahmy was waiting.  George calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper for his 3rd goal of the season, 2nd in WCAL play. 1-0 VC.


See a video of the goal here.


VC would remain on the attack for most of the first half, hounding Riordan's defensive players, something that coach Basanese said was in the game plan.


"We knew Riordan would look to slow the pace of the game, so we tried to pressure them in their back to cause turnovers.  I thought our forwards did well with this, and it paid off."


The game would go to the half 1-0 on the scoreboard, but with VC  holding a 8-0 advantage in shots on goal.


Click the videos below for some of the highlights.

Alex de Leon shot

Alex de Leon fouled

Justin Cordeiro falls down

Alex de Leon shot


The second half would start out with more of the same, and eventually Valley would double their lead with what may be one of the best goals of the season.


Freshman Justin Cordeiro took the ball and beat his defender before finding Fahmy's feet.  George played a one-time pass to an onrushing Joseph Rosa-Diniz who took the ball and dribbled towards goal.  As the 'keeper committed to stopping the shot, Joseph fired a perfect cross to Fahmy who finished it, 2-0 VC.


The goal was a welcome sight for Basanese.


"That was a great goal.  The buildup was nice, and what a great cross and finish.  I've been asking the kids to be more creative in the buildups, and less selfish in our finishing.  That had a little of  everything... the kind of goal that makes a coach happy, and it came at  an important time for us."


See the goal here.


Austin Mankser and the defense played well in the second half, only allowing four shots.  One save stood out to coach Fugate.


"I'm tired of even saying it, but, Austin is a great 'keeper, and that was a great save."


See the save here.


Towards the end of the game, a ball rolled out of bounds to Basanese, and while attempting to pass the ball to Kyle Grayson, John played a shinball.


"You saw it," Basanese said, "It hit the cone and hopped up!"


You be the judge, see the video here.


The lead allowed VC to rest the starters for Saturday's game vs. SI.  When the subs came in, however, they did not lay back.  Moments after entering the game, Britt Nelson played a superb ball into the box where Trevor Plug finished, making it 3-0 VC.


Sadly, the video camera ran out of film, and the last goal was not captured.


Later, Riordan would pull to within 2 goals with a late goal of their own.  That's how it would end, 3-1 in favor of VC.


The Warriors will now shift their focus to St. Ignatius this coming Saturday, a game that the coaching staff sees as very important.


"I don't really believe that our record shows the type of team we are this year.  We have the talent, we just need to find the desire to beat teams.  I hope that today, the team saw that we can play some pretty attractive soccer.  SI is a solid team, but we are not going to San Francisco to lay down for them.  We're going to give it our all." Basanese concluded.


John Basanese Sr. took pictures at the game, and they can be seen by clicking here.  Thanks Mr. Basanese!


Game Notes: Kyle Grayson (sophomore) got his the first start of his varsity career tonight...Trevor Plug scored his first varsity WCAL goal.


VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: George Fahmy (2g)

Riordan 0 1 1
Valley Christian 1 2 3

VC Starting Lineup: Mansker, Walitsch, Cardoza, Grayson, Cordeiro, Joseph, Christian de Leon, Reyes, Alex de Leon, Fahmy, Rosa-Diniz

Game time:  4:45pm
Weather: Cloudy, 56 degrees