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Late Serra comeback ties Warriors 1/18

Valley Christian 3, Junipero Serra 3

At 3-2-3, the VC Boys varsity soccer team sat in second place in the WCAL going into Tuesday's game with Serra.  With several of the WCAL coaches in attendance to scout the game, it was an up and down affair.  After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, and holding a 3-1 lead late...the Warriors conceded two late goals to share the points with the Padres.

The game started out with probably the fastest goal in Valley Christian Soccer history. In the first minute of the game, Austin Keeling fed Joey Stryker a ball that he blasted with his left foot from 20 yards out into the right upper V.  The goalie barely even moved as the shot went straight into the stunned 'keeper's net.

"That thing was in from the moment he hit it, what a goal!" coach Donny Fugate said.

After the goal, a well organized Serra team began to pressure the Warrior defense and took back the momentum. Serra star Jay Singh repeatedly fed the Padre forwards who were kept at bay by the Warrior defense.

In the 17th minute, with the momentum going Serra's way, the Warriors struck again. After a near goal on a corner kick, Cole Bales fired a shot home from long range off of a clearance. For Cole, it was his second goal in two games, and third of the season.

Just before half, Serra got the chance to cut the lead in half when VC 'keeper Ben Hansen took a player out in the box. Ryan Corry appeared to know which way the player would shoot as he whispered in Ben's ear. As expected, Hansen dove to his right and saved the Penalty.

The Warriors went into half time with a  2-0 lead.

In the second half, it would be a different story.  Though the VC boys controlled the ball for most of the half, Serra was able to come within one on a short range shot that beat Hansen.

Not to be outdone, Jeff Coggan put the Warriors ahead by two again with 16 minutes left. Cody Harrell played Jeff a through ball that he took and easily beat the sweeper to put him in with the Goalie. As the Serra 'keeper charged, Jeff put the ball in the back of the net. 3-1.

Above: Coggan scores to make it 3-1

Late flurries, including a nice one touch re-direct by Singh led the Serra Padres to a 3-3 tie.

"This is a tough one to take," said VC coach John Basanese after the game. "The kids played well, we had a lead and we let it slip away. It's gotta be better than this if we expect to hold onto second place. We'll still be ok, but it makes Thursday's game at Mitty even bigger now..."

The Warriors retain second place for now, and will travel to Archbishop Mitty to try to improve on a 2-2 tie earlier in the season. Check back at vcsoccer.com for updates on the game.

See pictures from the game here.

vcsoccer.com man of the match: Jeff Coggan, 1g

Serra 0 3 3
Valley Christian 2 1 3

Scoring summary:

Stryker (Keeling) '1

Bales (UA) '17

Coggan (Cody Harrell) '64

VC Starting Lineup: Hansen, Corry, Ruiz, McElhatton, Bales, Zambataro, Stryker, Osuna, Keeling, Coggan, Smith

Weather: Sunny  64 degrees