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Team against Wilcox

Night Game Brings First Win of the Season 11/29

The Warriors welcomed Wilcox High School to Valley Christian for the second game of the Homestead Christmas Cup, Thursday night.  The game was to played under the lights on a beautiful November night.  With the weather dipping into the high 50s, the stage was set for an exciting match.


Valley Christian entered the game desperately in need of their 1st win of the year.  Close games with Gunn, and Evergreen left the Warriors at 0-2 on the young season.


The depleted Warriors team saw two more starters go down sick before the match, Justin Cordeiro and Joseph Rosa-Diniz, leaving a total of 5 potential starters unavailable for selection.  Coach Basanese praised the team's depth.


"It's tough enough having two of our captains out, but to lose two more guys today was tough.  However, I've been saying all pre-season that this team is the deepest that I've had.  We had guys playing out of position tonight, but they did the job.  I give a lot of credit to Britt Nelson and Jeff Mueller for stepping in and having great games."


Traditionally, the Warriors play well in night games.  There is something about the view of the city lights, the fans, and the fact that playing at night is different that makes night games more attractive.  The coaching staff had to do very little to motivate the team.


"Our pregame speech was pretty much just telling the kids to enjoy the atmosphere, and go out and represent our school the best they could.  I think they did well tonight," assistant coach David Fugate said after the game.


The game was fast paced and looked to be a shootout at first. 


An early goal by Alex de Leon, his first on the season, staked the Warriors to another lead.  It's the third time in three games this year that the Warriors have scored first.


Minutes later, Jake Joseph made it 2-0 with another long range free kick that found the side netting.  For Jake, the goal was the second of the season.


Just when the Warriors appeared to be pulling away, Wilcox answered back with a shot from their star player that deflected off a VC defender and beat Austin Mansker. 2-1 VC.


Just a few minutes later, de Leon would tally again, this time with a blast from 22 yards out that the Wilcox 'keeper had no chance on.  The ball rippled the side netting of the goal, 3-1 VC.


"That was a pretty impressive goal.  Of Alex's 6 career goals 3 or 4 of them have been highlight reel type finishes.  We're hoping for many more," Basanese said after the game.


Loose marking by the VC defense allowed another goal for Wilcox, trimming the Warrior lead to 3-2.  The game would go to half-time that way.


The second half was a different story. 


The VC attack finally began breaking through again with de Leon adding his 3rd of the game on a free kick from Danny Hittler.  In the live action, the goal appeared to be offsides, but the after looking at the video, Alex was clearly onsides. 4-2 VC.


A video clip of the goal can be found here.


Trevor Plug and George Fahmy then assisted on a goal for each other.  George's came off a nice cross from Trevor, and Trevor's came after George sent him on a breakaway with a nice tackle.  6-2 VC.


When the final whistle blew, it was the first win of the season. 


Things will continue to get tougher as the season goes on, with the next contest Saturday against perennial power Santa Cruz High School, at Oak Grove, 4pm.


Special thanks to John Basanese Sr. for his incredible pictures.  They can be found here.


Game Notes:  Trevor Plug scored the first goal of his varsity career...Alex de Leon scored the first hattrick of his VC career...The win was the 50th of John Basanese's high school coaching career.


VCSoccer.com Man of the Match: Alex de Leon (3g)

Wilcox 2 0 2
Valley Christian 3 3 6


VC Scoring:

Alex de Leon (Fahmy)

Jake Joseph (UA)

Alex de Leon (Joseph)

Alex de Leon (Hittler)

George Fahmy (Plug)

Trevor Plug (Fahmy)

VC Starting Lineup: Mansker, Walitsch (C), Nelson, Hittler, Cardoza, Mueller, Rothenberg, Tarangioli, Joseph, Fahmy, Alex de Leon

Game time:  6pm
Weather: Perfectly clear, 58 degrees