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Bellarmine holds off Valley Christian 1/5

The scene was perfect. 74 Degrees, loads of fans, Cal-High Sports (showtimes at the bottom of article), Live VC webcast, and not an ounce of wind. The players were ready for this traditional clash of two WCAL teams.

The Bellarmine Bells had just returned from Florida where they took second in the countries biggest high school tournament.  The Bells proved their top 5 National ranking by taking second in the tourney. The loaded with talent Bells brought their show to Valley Christian.

Seven minutes after the kickoff, the Bells took the ball down the left side of the field and hit a contested cross towards the goal.  A diving Ben Hansen just missed the ball and it was redirected nicely by the onrushing Bellarmine player. 1-0 Bells.

The Warriors would not give up, several chances came their way before the Bells improved their position.

In the 34th minute, Bellarmine was awarded a free-kick.  After a delay of game yellow card, they took their shot from 23 yards out.  The direct kick hit the VC wall, and deflected into the upper corner of the net.  There was nothing Hansen could do, 2-0.

At halftime, the score was 2-0 Bells and things were looking bad.

After a brief halftime speech, the Warriors came out guns blaring.  Chance after chance fell their way before Bellarmine got fortunate once again.  The Bells forward took a turnover around midfield and was able to beat 'keeper Ben Hansen back to the goal.  3-0.

From this point on, the Warriors reached deep and drew on weeks of fitness training.  In the 60th minute, Jeff Coggan lined up a free-kick and placed it past the Bells 'keeper. 3-1. 

The rest of the game was played in the Bellarmine half, chance after chance was turned away.  The boys were winning every ball and giving everything they had.

"Bellarmine is a class team.  They have class coaches, class players, and they are incredibly talented as a team.  That said, I can't tell you how proud I am of our kids today.  They gave us every bit of their hearts, and we had a chance to compete with a great side," Coach John Basanese said after the game.

The game ended 3-1, but a lesson was learned from the game.  Heart will take you places.  To even mention each of the players by name would be pointless, but the whole entire team gave their all.

Former coach Donny Fugate attended the game, and he had this to say afterwards.  "I was very impressed with the tenacity displayed by the Warriors today.  They played all out until the final whistle.  I was very proud of my guys today."

Matt Cossell, coach of the boys freshman basketball team said, "I like the headbands, can I say that?"

Well said.

As Head Coach Aleks Vranicic was cleaning up the field, he commented on the attitude in the locker room before the game. "It was dead quiet when I walked in there.  That was when I knew...these kids are ready."

Next up, Serra @ Serra this Saturday.

The highlights from the game can be seen on Cal-High Sports at the following times:

Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on KRON 4
Mondays at 7 p.m. on FSN Bay Area
Thursdays at 2 p.m. on FSN Bay Area

vcsoccer.com man of the match: Brad McLaughlin

Bellarmine 2 1 3
Valley Christian 0 1 1

Scoring summary:

Coggan (UA) '60

VC Starting Lineup: Hansen, Zvolanek, Seaman, Mark, Nettemeyer, McElhatton, Keeling, Coggan, Osuna, Goldsmith, Stryker

Weather: Perfectly clear, 74 degrees. No wind.