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Above: Jeff Coggan (left) and Joey Stryker (right) celebrate Coggan's goal vs. St. Francis.  The goal was the 30th of his career, making him the All Time VC leading goal scorer.

One down, six to go. Warriors stifle Lancers 1/12

After a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Riordan Crusaders on Tuesday, the Warriors hosted the considerably stronger St. Francis Lancers. Perfect weather welcomed the showdown between two teams that are better than their records show.

In the WCAL opening match, Valley Christian got a last minute goal from senior captain, Austin Keeling, with 9 minutes to play. The Warriors held on for the 1-0 win. Since that game, wins have been hard to come by and the VC varsity entered today’s game with a 2-4-2 league record.

The equation is simple. The Warriors need to finish the season with 4 wins, and no more than 2 losses. If you do the math, that means that a win or tie against either S.I., Bellarmine, or Mitty is necessary to finish with a .500 record. That’s assuming that the team handles the other games. The pressure is on, and for today, VC responded solidly.

The game started out with back and forth action. Out of the gates, the Warriors took the bulk of the scoring chances, and found the net with a spectacular goal 22 minutes in.

A ball was played in to senior Joey Stryker who, as he was falling backwards, lunged to play a brilliant ball to an onrushing Jeff Coggan. Coggan took the ball in stride and expertly dribbled around the keeper, placing it into the net. 1-0 VC.

Above: Stryker lunges to play the ball through to Coggan who put the Warriors up 1-0

The goal had historical meaning as well. For Coggan, it was the 30th of his career, breaking the scoring record previously shared by Jeff’ brother Jimmy Coggan, and Ronald Jenkins. Jeff Coggan is now the All-Time leading goal scorer, and assist leader in school history. The All Time stat sheet can be found here.

The half would end with St. Francis taking some of the momentum. The game was physical with both sides trading blows.  The Valley Christian defense was anchored by sweeper David Zvolanek and Ben Hansen.  The defense remains without Tyler Seaman, and Chris McElhatton...both regular starters.

At halftime, the Warriors made some minor adjustments and returned to the game invigorated. Several cheeky pass plays were seen by VC fans as they watched St. Francis slowly give in to the pressure put on by the home side.

Around the 66th minute, David Nettemeyer would score his third goal in three games, all from headers. Ross Mark played a perfectly timed ball into the box. After a slight deflection, Nettemeyer was able to head the ball over the charging keeper and into the St. Francis net. 2-0.


Above: David Nettemeyer puts the Warriors up 2-0 from Ross Mark.

A few minutes later, Coggan took a pass from Stryker and smashed a left footed half volley into the side netting. The goal was erroneously called offsides, and the score stayed 2-0.


Above: Coggan celebrates as the ball lies in the goal. The goal was unfortunately called offsides.

The game would end that way, with the Warriors moving one step closer to qualifying for CCS. To qualify, a team has to have either a .500 record in league or overall. Right now, the Warriors have neither. The team is ready though, and while the road will be tough the will is there.

Nothing worth achieving comes without a fight, and everyone involved knows that a fight is exactly what making CCS will be.

The Warriors travel to Saint Ignatius on Saturday to take on the Wildcats. The game is incredibly important and it starts at 11am.

Game Notes: Tyler Williamson was injured in the game. We hope to have him back by Saturday's game, but right now he's questionable.

Photos from the match can be found here!  Special thanks to John Basanese Sr. for taking the time to shoot these incredible action shots!

Another special thanks goes to Coach Terry McElhatton for doing a live webcast of the game with commentary!

vcsoccer.com man of the match: Jeff Coggan (1 goal, 30th of his career)

St. Francis 0 0 0
Valley Christian 1 1 2

Scoring summary:

Coggan (Stryker) '22

Nettemeyer (Mark) '66

VC Starting Lineup: Hansen, Zvolanek, Williamson, Mark, Nettemeyer, Field, Keeling, Coggan, Osuna, Goldsmith, Stryker

Weather: Partly cloudy, slight breeze. 68 degrees.