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Ramirez Opens High School Career With Game Tying Goal (11/20)

As the Valley Christian Soccer program grows, it is tougher and tougher for an underclassman to make the varsity team. This year has been the toughest, with only one freshman, and four sophomores on the squad. Philip Ramirez, just a few weeks into his varsity career has already made an impact.

The Valley Christian Warriors made their season debut Thursday, hosting The King’s Academy. TKA traditionally has played their soccer in the Fall, but this year they have switched to the winter like most of the other CCS schools. The matchup has been long talked about, and it definitely had some exciting moments.

After a pre-game prayer with both teams, the game began. Valley Christian controlled the run of play, but TKA did well to pressure the backs with counter attacks. The game would turn in TKA’s favor in the 30th minute.

The Knights won a corner kick down in the VC end. The player swung in a dangerous free-kick that found its way to an unmarked player who finished it from inside the 6 yard box. 1-0 TKA.

A shocked Valley Christian attempted to regain control, despite going down a goal. The ‘first game jitters’ were evident for VC as they worked to establish a rhythm, playing a new formation.

The game would go to halftime 1-0 in favor of the Knights. The coaching staff made a few personnel adjustments in an attempt to get back into the game. The second half was a much better show.

The Warriors held possession in the back, and worked the ball all around the field. James Gizzi, and Danny Hittler made several dangerous runs forward, and did well to feed the ball to the forwards. The goals would just not come.

The Knight’s goalkeeper made several key saves to deny Kevin Tarangioli, Alex de Leon, Trevor Plug, and Joseph Rosa-Diniz. The VC keeper, Austin Mansker did not face any shots in the second half.

With the game coming to a close, Philip Ramirez checked into the game. In the 75th minute, Hittler found Ramirez on the left side of the 18 yard box. Philip beat his defender and fired a low shot at the goal. The ‘keeper, who had been great all day, misjudged the ball, and it squirted through his legs. Philip opened his high school account with a game tying goal, 1-1.

“Philip is a kid we have high expectations for, that’s why he’s on varsity. He loves the game, and he shows it in his play. I have a lot of respect for him for even taking that shot. Sometimes the young kids are intimidated, but give him credit. He put it on frame, and he scored the tying goal. There are no lucky goals in my book,” coach John Basanese said following the game.


The video of the goal can be seen here.

The Warriors would furiously pepper the TKA defense, but the Knights held strong, and the game ended 1-1.

Though the result was not ideal, there were many positives to take from the game.

“We obviously would’ve liked to take this game, but give The King’s Academy a lot of credit. They really impressed me with their organization, and there are some kids over there who do a great job,” Basanese said.

“We were rusty, big time. Once we settled in, and played the way we’ve been coaching all pre-season, we played a very entertaining, possession oriented game. We need to be better in the final third, and this would’ve been a different result. We’re encouraged…this is a very strong team, but we have a lot to improve on,” Basanese concluded.

The Warriors will have four great opportunities to work on the lapses. The team will travel to San Francisco tomorrow night to play in the WCAL Jamboree. In the Jamboree, the team will play 3 short, meaningless games where the focus is getting the rust off.

Then the team will host Concord in a practice game on Saturday at noon. Come out and check out that game, at Valley Christian.


Video highlights from the game can be found here.


Game Notes:

- Philip Ramirez scored the first goal of his Valley Christian career, in his first Varsity game...as a freshman.

- VC outshot TKA 14 - 6

- Chaz Ballard, Justin Berding, Philip Ramirez, and Ian Karlsson saw action for the first time on varsity.



VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Philip Ramirez (Game tying goal)

The King's Academy 1 0 1
Valley Christian 0 1 1

VC Starting Lineup: Mansker, Joseph, Berding, Grayson, Ruiz, Tarangioli, Cordeiro, Nelson, de Leon, Rosa-Diniz, Plug

Game time:  3:15
Weather: Partly cloudy, chilly