Warriors Defeat Santa Cruz for the First Time 12/1
The Valley Christian boys varsity soccer program
traveled to Oak Grove High School, on Saturday, to take on CCS power
Santa Cruz. The game was the 3rd match for VC in the Homestead
Christmas Cup. Needing a win to keep the hopes of advancing out of pool
play alive (something VC has never done), the Warriors showed up ready
After warmups, the game began. The Warriors were fortunate to get two
players back from illness in time for the game, freshman Justin Cordeiro,
and Joseph Rosa-Diniz.
The game was fast paced right from the beginning, and about 10 minutes
in Santa Cruz struck first. After a corner kick, the ball was bouncing
around in the box, and Santa Cruz pounced on the opportunity from short
The Warriors took the wake-up call and answered back on another stunning
combination goal by Alex de Leon.
George Fahmy received a ball out wide and beat his defender. George
looked up and fired a 30 yard switching ball across to de Leon. Alex
took the ball with his left, and fired a second touch shot from 24 yards
that found the far post side netting. 1-1.
See the video here.
"I appreciate goals like that." coach John Basanese said. "George did
well to find Alex over there. His pass was right on the money, and Alex
knows what to do with that. At that point in the game, we really needed
to equalize, so that was big for us."
A few minutes later, Alex would add his second of the game on a
breakaway. Danny Hittler played a nice ball through that cleared the
Santa Cruz defense where de Leon was lurking. Alex took the ball in
stride, beat the onrushing keeper, and slotted the ball into the net.
See the video here.
The Warriors would add to the lead when de Leon was taken down in the
box as he ran through the 18 with the ball. The ref wasted no time in
pointing to the spot for an obvious penalty kick.
Freshman Justin Cordeiro stepped up and placed the ball into the net
clinically. However, the ref had not blown the whistle, so the kick had
to be taken again. This time Kevin Tarangioli stepped up and finished
Justin's PK can be seen
Kevin's PK can be seen here.
Coach Basanese explained that the goalkeeper would have an advantage if
Justin hit the second PK.
"For one, I'm a believer in situations like this that the same guy
doesn't take the second kick. The goalkeeper knows where he wanted to
go since he went there the first time. So either Justin has to switch
what he's used to, which is usually a bad idea, or go to the same place
and the 'keeper might be anticipating that. Secondly, I don't want that
kind of pressure on a freshman in such a big game, not even one as
talented as Justin."
The penalty made the score 3-1, and that was the score at halftime.
After a halftime speech from the VC coaches that pleaded with the
Warriors to not concede a goal, the worst case happened.
Santa Cruz found the net twice. The first was a brilliant finish on a
slot pass, and the second goal was a bit lucky. Regardless, the
score was now tied 3-3.
The Warriors would not go away, however, and sophomore Alex de Leon
carried the team with his second consecutive hat-trick. Joseph won the
ball near midfield and fed Alex in stride. Alex took the ball, beat his
defender and dribbled towards the sweeper. A quick burst of speed sent
him flying by the last man and in alone with the 'keeper. A confident
chip beat the Santa Cruz keeper, who got a hand on the ball, and staked
VC to a 4-3 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Video of the goal can
be seen here.
"There are not a lot of players with the ability to score that way. If
it's me, I go low and near post. But Alex is playing confident right
now, and he got it done. Another incredible finish, and more
importantly, a game winner for us," Basanese said.
Valley successfully defended the lead, and for the first time in school
history, defeated Santa Cruz. The win brings the season record to 2-2,
and gives VC a great chance of advancing out of group play for the first
"Again, the game was a little sloppy for my taste. We now have 5 days
of practice to prepare for the league opener against SI on Saturday.
I'm looking forward to 5 sessions where we work out the kinks.
Defensively, we can't keep giving up 3 goals a game. We need to be
better. That said, I'm pleased with the character that was showed by coming
from behind, and putting this team away. It's an important win for us,"
The Warriors will host SI on Saturday at 11am, come out and support VC!
The pictures from the game were taken by John Basanese Sr. They
turned out great, and can be found
Special thanks to Amy Thomas and Cheryle Lee (team managers) for
capturing the game on video. You two did a great job!!
Game Notes: For Alex de Leon, his 3 goals gives him 6 on the
young season. It's also the first time in VC history (recorded)
that a Warrior has scored back to back hat-tricks...Kevin Tarangioli's
goal was the first of his Varsity career.
VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Alex
de Leon (3g)
Alex de Leon (Fahmy)
Alex de Leon (Hittler)
Alex de Leon (Rosa-Diniz)
VC Starting Lineup: Mansker, Walitsch, Ruiz,
Cardoza, Nelson, Tarangioli, Joseph, Mueller, Rothenberg, Alex de Leon,
Game time: 4:00 pm
Weather: Cloudy, 55 degrees