Canyon soccer looking up despite Quartz Hill loss
Canyon's Eduardo Ayala (6) hugs teammate Joshua Roque (10) after Roque scored the Cowboy's only goal of the game from more than 40 yards out on Friday night against Quartz Hill. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
By Mason Nesbitt
Friday, January 6th, 2017

With one kick, Joshua Roque sent the ball 40 yards through the air and his Canyon High teammates into a frenzy something like a disturbed anthill, exerting every ounce of energy as they desperately tried to score the equalizer in the final 16 minutes.

Ultimately, Roque’s frozen-rope goal was the highlight of Canyon boys soccer’s 2-1 loss to Quartz Hill at home on Friday night.

PHOTOS: Canyon v. Quartz Hill boys soccer

But, despite remaining winless, the Cowboys (0-8-5) continued to show signs of improvement from last year’s disappointing campaign. When Foothill League play starts Tuesday, it will be a matter of playing a complete game.

“You rip that one off, and it ratchets up the intensity,” Canyon coach Robert Benavidez said of Roque’s goal.

Canyon’s mad scramble didn’t produce a second score. But it put a once-in-control Quartz Hill team on its heels.

 

Canyon's Dylon Hartigan (11) kicks the ball away from the Cowboy's goal as goalkeeper Chase Moynihan (0) tries to recover during a soccer game against Quartz Hill at Canyon on Friday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
Canyon’s Dylon Hartigan (11) kicks the ball away from the Cowboy’s goal as goalkeeper Chase Moynihan (0) tries to recover during a soccer game against Quartz Hill at Canyon on Friday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

That seemed a distant possibility in the first half when Rebel Joshua Mendez scored in the 15th minute and Clayton Torr made it 2-0 Quartz Hill in the 25th minute.

 

Canyon’s few opportunities didn’t amount to anything and the seventh shutout loss of the year loomed.

Then Roque wound up from 40 yards out and unleashed the longest goal of his soccer career. The junior’s previous long, he said, came from 20 yards out during his freshman year.

When did he decide to shoot his momentum changer?

“Right when I saw (the opportunity),” Roque said.

Was his coach surprised?

“We’ve been trying to emphasize to the players, ‘Shoot the ball.’ We can’t score unless they shoot,” Benavidez said. “They tend to want everything on a platter with the perfect setup. We’ve been trying to tell them you just have to shoot the ball sometimes. Take a risk.”

Roque took the risk and Canyon looked revived.

The Cowboys hope to play that kind of inspired soccer from the get-go Tuesday against Golden Valley.

“Tuesday is a whole new season now,” Benavidez said.

About the author

Mason Nesbitt

Mason Nesbitt

Mason Nesbitt is The Santa Clarita Valley Signal's Sports Editor.

Canyon's Eduardo Ayala (6) hugs teammate Joshua Roque (10) after Roque scored the Cowboy's only goal of the game from more than 40 yards out on Friday night against Quartz Hill. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Canyon soccer looking up despite Quartz Hill loss

With one kick, Joshua Roque sent the ball 40 yards through the air and his Canyon High teammates into a frenzy something like a disturbed anthill, exerting every ounce of energy as they desperately tried to score the equalizer in the final 16 minutes.

Ultimately, Roque’s frozen-rope goal was the highlight of Canyon boys soccer’s 2-1 loss to Quartz Hill at home on Friday night.

PHOTOS: Canyon v. Quartz Hill boys soccer

But, despite remaining winless, the Cowboys (0-8-5) continued to show signs of improvement from last year’s disappointing campaign. When Foothill League play starts Tuesday, it will be a matter of playing a complete game.

“You rip that one off, and it ratchets up the intensity,” Canyon coach Robert Benavidez said of Roque’s goal.

Canyon’s mad scramble didn’t produce a second score. But it put a once-in-control Quartz Hill team on its heels.

 

Canyon's Dylon Hartigan (11) kicks the ball away from the Cowboy's goal as goalkeeper Chase Moynihan (0) tries to recover during a soccer game against Quartz Hill at Canyon on Friday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
Canyon’s Dylon Hartigan (11) kicks the ball away from the Cowboy’s goal as goalkeeper Chase Moynihan (0) tries to recover during a soccer game against Quartz Hill at Canyon on Friday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

That seemed a distant possibility in the first half when Rebel Joshua Mendez scored in the 15th minute and Clayton Torr made it 2-0 Quartz Hill in the 25th minute.

 

Canyon’s few opportunities didn’t amount to anything and the seventh shutout loss of the year loomed.

Then Roque wound up from 40 yards out and unleashed the longest goal of his soccer career. The junior’s previous long, he said, came from 20 yards out during his freshman year.

When did he decide to shoot his momentum changer?

“Right when I saw (the opportunity),” Roque said.

Was his coach surprised?

“We’ve been trying to emphasize to the players, ‘Shoot the ball.’ We can’t score unless they shoot,” Benavidez said. “They tend to want everything on a platter with the perfect setup. We’ve been trying to tell them you just have to shoot the ball sometimes. Take a risk.”

Roque took the risk and Canyon looked revived.

The Cowboys hope to play that kind of inspired soccer from the get-go Tuesday against Golden Valley.

“Tuesday is a whole new season now,” Benavidez said.