The Golden Valley boys soccer team may have been dealt new coaches just three weeks ago, but there appears to me no drop-off in the team’s progress.
The Grizzlies fought to a 1-1 draw on Monday afternoon at home against Bishop Alemany.
“We’re actually bonding,” said GV goalkeeper Emerson Chavarria. “I think people are getting adapted to the new coach … they see that he actually wants to do something for us, so everything has been changing.”
Six minutes into the game, GV (1-3-1) established dominance in the attacking third, but couldn’t manage a shot until the 18th minute.
Two different midfielders took the ball up the right sideline and sent a cross to the front of the net within minutes of each other, but at neither time was a player there to capitalize on the pass.
Coach Freddy Wheeler said the coaching staff is still working to find the best combination of players to avoid instances like that.
“We came in and we don’t know … where some people played, we didn’t know how the team was even selected, so we’re kind of on the back heel,” said Wheeler, “but we’re coming up and we’re making some changes, shifting some players around, finding where they’re comfortable at.
Johnny Saavedra, a junior attacking mid broke through in the 24th minute, knocking in a deflection from the top of the box.
The Grizzlies were able to hold off the Warriors (1-0-1) for the rest of the half, thanks in part to two diving saves from Chavarria.
On the other side of halftime, Alemany scored on a penalty kick, deflating Golden Valley’s chances of a shutout.
“I second-guessed myself, that’s why I dove to the other side,” Chavarria, who ended the match with five saves, said. “If I wouldn’t have done that, I would be probably gotten it or at least been close to it.”
GV nearly capitalized on a corner kick shortly after, but a header went just inches wide of the net.
Golden Valley next plays at Chatsworth on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.