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Above: Star goalkeeper, Ben Hansen's 20th career WCAL shutout led the Warriors to a tie vs. high powered S.I.

Ben Hansen carry's Warriors. 1/16

At 9-2-3, Saint Ignatius is one of the CCS' best teams.  This past Saturday, the Warriors traveled to San Francisco to take on the Wildcats. The day started off poorly as it was pouring rain, and the Warriors were to be without 4 recent defensive starters...not a good thing when you're about to take on the second place team in the WCAL.

With a job to do, the team arrived ready.  The drenched teams took the field for the starting whistle. The game was a back and forth affair, with both teams having chances.  At the end of the first half, the game was tied 0-0 with no really big saves on either side.

The coaching staff was able to find a dry 'lockeroom' where they could make half time adjustments.  The message: Don't be intimidated, we can win this game!

The teams took the field in the second half and the Warriors came out with everything they had. Scoring chances went back and forth and goalies came up big on each side. 

With about 8 minutes to play, the courage of one player took over. Ben Hansen, the Warriors star goalkeeper, and a starter since his freshman year got to work.

On the first chance, a SI player hit a shot that seemed destined for the upper corner of the net.  Hansen dove quickly to his left and caught the shot.  He held the ball as he crashed to the ground, no rebound and no goal.

Just minutes later and SI player came through alone with Hansen.  The 'keeper came out full speed and threw his body in front of the shot, stopping a true breakaway.  The player was called offsides on the play, after the save but the message was clear.  Nothing was going into the VC net. 

After a near miss by Jeff Coggan, and Joey Stryker, SI had one final strike.

With 1:30 left on the clock, Jeff Cosgriff dished the ball around the top of the 18 to a player who cracked a left footed shot that was going for the side netting.  Hansen took three steps to his left and then dove parrying the ball just wide.

"I didn't even know what to say.  It's my opinion that no goalkeeper in CCS makes that save except Ben.  His footwork was so fast, that was incredible," coach Basanese said on the bus after the game.

The game would end a tie, and the result may have saved the Warrior's hopes for a CCS berth. The Warriors still need to win 3 more games to finish at .500, and qualify for an At Large berth.

"We knew we needed a tie or a win against SI. There were a lot of subplots to this game, but the bottom line is that we owe this one to Ben Hansen.  He showed every member of this team and school today that he is with us to the end.  I'm very proud of Ben, and thankful for his commitment. The defense played great today, but without Benny, we lose this game." Basanese concluded.

The Warriors will take on Mitty at home on January 19th.  Don't miss this extremely important game!

Game notes: For Ben Hansen the shutout was the 20th of his WCAL career.  He has 29 shutouts overall.

vcsoccer.com man of the match: Ben Hansen

Valley Christian 0 0 0
St. Ignatius 0 0 0

VC Starting Lineup: Hansen, Garrison, McLaughlin, Mark, Nettemeyer, Field, Keeling, Coggan, Osuna, Goldsmith, Stryker

Weather: Rainy and windy