This week, Valencia High girls soccer coach Kevin Goralsky asked his team to be more aggressive.
It answered with a resounding shutout against Golden Valley 3-0 Friday afternoon at Golden Valley High School.
The Vikings first dented the scoreboard in just the second minute. Autumn Moore centered the ball and booted it from the top of the arc.
“We just wanted to come out aggressive and intense because we’re just starting league and we want to start league well,” Moore said.
The Vikes were able to score again to close out the first stanza, with 13 minutes remaining in the half.
Moore finished on a cross-field pass for her second goal of the night, setting the score to 2-0.
“We were excited to score in the beginning of the game and start out well so we could keep defending in the second half,” Moore said.
Valencia’s scoring chances were set up by a cutthroat midfield and a gritty defense that were able to body the Grizzlies off the ball to win one-on-one battles.
“The defense and the midfield were really strong tonight,” said Moore. “The defense gets the ball up the field and the midfielders followed through their runs and pushed up and so they were able to create a lot of opportunities for us. The forwards rely on them.”
Golden Valley was operating with a shortened bench. Two defenders and a goalie were sidelined due to injuries, causing three freshmen to take their place.
On top of that, filling in for the keeper was a defender who had little experience at the position.
The team also has limited subs, with only two players ready to come off the bench.
“You haven’t seen golden valley’s true face yet,” said Golden Valley coach John Bogdan. “Injury right now is bad for us, but Tuesday hopefully we’re going to have an almost full team, and we’re going to face Saugus with a much better defense.”
The Grizzlies have shown they have a strong midfield and attack throughout preleague, but neither area had the chance to perform against a Valencia offense that kept badgering the defense.
A windy playing surface made controlling the ball difficult for both teams. Goalies’ kicks went vertical, and throw-ins strayed from their intended paths.
“Whatever team has the wind at their backs (has the advantage),” Goralsky said.
Weather or not, Valencia had the extra push.
Hart 1, Canyon 1
Shelby Cooper scored for the Cowboys and Taylor Moorehead had a goal for the Indians at Canyon High School.
Canyon is now 5-7-2 overall and 1-0-1 in league, while Hart is 12-2-3 and 0-0-2.
Rookie Shelby Cooper with her first Varsity goal! pic.twitter.com/lr38N8bYpy
— Canyon Girls Soccer (@CanyonSoccerG) January 14, 2017
West Ranch 0, Saugus 0
At Saugus High School, the Wildcats and Centurions both received their second 0-0 tie in as many games.
Saugus is 4-8-3, 0-0-2 in league and West Ranch is 6-3-4, 0-0-2.