Valencia boys soccer’s balancing act

Valencia's Cesar Dominguez (10) celebrates after he scored the game's first goal during a non-conference match against Highland at Valencia High School. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Four different Valencia High boys soccer players scored earlier this week in the Vikings’ Foothill League-opening 4-1 win over West Ranch.

That, coach Tony Scalercio said, is the kind of balance Valencia wants to feature in its ensuing nine-game run at a second straight league crown.

“Balance is what we’re always trying to achieve,” said Scalercio, whose team is 8-2-3 overall. “(We want to be) a balanced team that defends well, attacks well and is able to spread the scoring around.”

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Through preleague play, the Vikings weren’t, statistically speaking, the most balanced Foothill team on offense.

Senior Josh Ferguson leads the team with 10 goals, followed by senior Cesar Dominguez’s nine. In all, nine Vikings have scored at least one goal, compared to Saugus’ 11 different scorers.

But, it’s fair to say as Valencia sophomores Ian Young (five goals) and Brennan Book (four goals) continue to gain their footing at the varsity level, they’ll share more of the scoring load.

“He brings that attacking-minded person on offense that we lost from last year with (the graduation of) Dylan Clifford and Justin Ikeora,” said Valencia senior midfielder Sean Kim, a returning starter from the 2016 CIF SoCal Regional championship team.

Kim was one of the four players to score Tuesday, with defender Omar Darwish, forward Book and midfielder Young being the others.

The scoring variety sparked memories of Valencia’s groundbreaking postseason push last year. The first Santa Clarita Valley boys soccer team to win a regional title, the Vikings received goals from a different player in seemingly every key game.

One day it was Ikeora. Then it was Ferguson. Then Luis Garcia Sosa and defender Patrick Miller in the regional final.

“We never try to get it to one guy,” Scalercio said. “… Depending on where the ball is on the field, the guys know how to press, where we allow (our opponent) to play and where we don’t allow them to play. When we win the ball, because of our shape, we can be dangerous from anywhere, any angle, any side of the field.”

And with any player, all of whom know Valencia’s mottoes: Defend first, and no player is bigger than the team. Everyone has a role to play.

“As long as we win, it basically doesn’t matter who scores,” Kim said.

Valencia hosts Golden Valley tonight at 5 p.m.

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