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VC Ties Serra At Home, Looks Towards Mitty 1/15

Fresh off their win at St. Ignatius this past weekend, the Valley Christian Varsity Soccer team had one day of practice before facing another strong WCAL team, Junipero Serra.


Serra is currently the third place team in the WCAL sporting a record of 7-5-2 after loses to Bellarmine and Mitty last week.  Coach Basanese knew that Serra would present a fresh set of challenges for VC.


"We expected Serra to be a touch matchup today, and they were.  They have some good athletes over there, and a couple of pretty impressive playmakers." Basanese said.


Just as the Warriors kicked off the game, the sun peaked through the clouds on a day that would eventually provide full sunshine for the teams.


The game started off contrary to the Warriors' game plan.  They conceded an early goal on a nice pass, followed by a solid finish. 1-0 Serra in the second minute of the game.


See the video of the goal here.


The Warriors would begin to pressure the Serra goal, and eventually equalized on a corner kick from sophomore Alex de Leon to Senior George Fahmy. 1-1.  The goal is George's 5th on the season.


See the video of the goal here (it was only partially captured)


The rest of the first half would be filled with chances for both teams, although VC outshot Serra 8-3.  The possession was held by Valley for the majority of the game, something that coach Basanese viewed as an important step for the Warriors.


"I felt like we held most of the possession today, especially in the first half.  The early goal could've put us down, but I was proud of the way they kept fighting, and eventually brought us level." Basanese said.


The game went to the half 1-1.


At the start of the second half, Serra seemed to pick up the pace a bit, and what followed were a few good opportunities on goal.


"I thought they got their #10 involved a bit more in the second half, and he's a pretty creative playmaker.  I'm always impressed by that kid, and he showed me something again today." Basanese said.


Serra went ahead on a great pass and smart finish by Serra.  Serra's playmaker, Hitallo Nava, threaded a perfect seam pass through to his teammate who finished cleverly to the near post past an onrushing Austin Mansker. 2-1 Serra.


See the video of the goal here.


Valley Christian would continue to fight back, however, and found the back of the net in the 74th minute to tie the game at 2.


After Alex de Leon was brought down in the Serra end, Jake Joseph placed a perfect free-kick onto Nick Reyes' head.  Nick flicked the ball backwards and into the net. 2-2.


Again only partial video was captured, see it here.


"I'm happy for Nick." Basanese said following the game.  "That was a great ball by Jake, but Nick finished it off.  He's worked hard for us all year, so that's well deserved, and obviously a very important goal for us."


A few moments later, there was a scary moment for VC when a Serra striker inadvertently kneed Mansker in the forehead, sending him sprawling to the ground.  Austin would be ok, and finish off the game.


"It was a clean play, Austin made a nice save and was unlucky to catch a knee.  We're getting him looked at, but he should be ok." Basanese said following the game.


See the video here.


Both teams would have chances in the waning moments.  George Fahmy nearly put the Warriors ahead with a last minute break, but the Serra 'keeper did well to dive and save George's shot.


In the end, Serra outshot VC 14-12, and the final score was 2-2.


The Warriors will host Archbishop Mitty this Thursday, so there is very little time to recover.  Mitty is the second place team in the WCAL and one of the CCS' best teams.  In the first half of the season, Mitty defeated VC 2-0. 


Game Notes: For Nick Reyes, the goal was the first of his 3 year varsity career!


VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Nick Reyes (1g)

Junipero Serra 1 1 2
Valley Christian 1 1 2

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


VC Scoring Summary:


Fahmy (Alex de Leon)

Reyes (Joseph)

Game time:  3:15
Weather: Sunny 59 degrees