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Above: The team poses for a picture just after the seniors were introduced.  Click the image to see the full size.

Seniors come through in WCAL finale 1/31

The Valley Christian Warriors boys varsity soccer team set out to do something it hadn't done in two years, today.  It's been over two seasons since the Warriors defeated Archbishop Riordan. One of the low moments of the season came at Riordan in a 3-2 loss.  In the locker room before the game, one word was said repeatedly, revenge.

Today was also 'Senior Day,' so the 12th graders were introduced one by one.  Each senior gave their mom a rose, and had a brief bio read commemorating their service to the program.

After the photos, the game was set to start.  The Warriors defended the north goal, as normal in the first half.  The team came out 'gun's blarin' and put the Crusaders on their heels from the first moment.  Senior Albino Rey Garces had a couple near misses just moments into the game.  Jeff Coggan and Austin Keeling were running circles around the Riordan defenders, creating chance after chance.

Nothing seemed like it would find the net.  At the end of the first half, it seemed like the game would have the same frustrating end as last week's Serra game... 0-0.

At halftime, the Warriors uncharacteristically took shooting practice.  Coach Basanese explains.

"What do you tell the kids when you're destroying a team, but just can't score??  I felt like talking to them would be a waste of time, so we decided to help them warm up their shots.  We just had a bad day of finishing..."

The extra shooting helped out.  In the 50th minute, Joey Stryker found Coggan who turned on a dime and bent a finesse shot past the Riordan keeper from 22 yards out, 1-0 Warriors. See the sequence below.

The Warriors would pummel the Riordan Crusaders the rest of the way, with shot after shot.  VC star 'keeper Ben Hansen kept Riordan out of the net for his 2nd straight shutout.  In the last six games, besides the Bellarmine game, Hansen and the defense have only surrendered 2 goals, both against Mitty (one was a penalty).

The game would end 1-0, and the WCAL league season ended on a positive note.  The Warriors will play Junipero Serra this Saturday.  If the Serra Padres lose on Thursday to Bellarmine (today's game was cancelled because of lack of officials), VC will hold 4th place in WCAL and play Serra at home.  If Serra wins or ties, Serra will be 4th and VC will be forced to travel to Serra for the WCAL 1st round game.

Notes: For Coggan, the goal was the 32nd of his career.  David Nettemeyer now has a date to the winter formal!

Special Thanks to John Basanese Sr. for his great action shots from the game.  The photos from the game can be found here.  There are 88 great pictures total!!

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

Riordan 0 0 0
Valley Christian 0 1 1

Coggan (Stryker) 50

VC Starting Lineup: Hansen, McElhatton, Zvolanek, McLaughlin, Nettemeyer, Garces, Keeling, Coggan, Osuna, Goldsmith, Stryker

Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees