Hart boys soccer had a win over Valencia within reach on Friday at Hart. But in the 77th minute, a series of set pieces came raining down on the Indians defense.
The Indians were able to fend off each one, however, as they took down the Vikings, the defending Foothill League champions, 2-1.
“I think that was the most difficult part of this game. Playing zone definitely helped and not man-marking,” said senior Dillon Vega.
“We have a lot of tall players, so we can get that head in the air and get the ball out of the air. I think that was a big, key part of the game.”
Valencia did slip a goal by Hart, however, scoring on a free kick in the 65th minute on a shot that went low and left.
“This isn’t the first time in the season we’ve conceded goals in the last second of the game,” Vega said. “So I think the biggest part was keeping our focus, keeping our cool and getting that ball out of our zone.”
The Indians, who are now on a three-game win streak, scored both their goals in the first half of play. The first came from Lawrence Luna in the 20th minute, while the second came in the 38th minute when Vega knocked in a header off a Brandon Martinez throw-in.
The Vikings defeated and tied Hart last season and have been the Foothill League champions every year since the 2014-15 season.
“When we play games and we stick to the plan, we tend to do well,” said coach Adonay Jovel. “They started getting a lot of calls in the second half, but I thought we really dominated the game. It feels good for the kids to beat them.”
Canyon 1, Golden Valley 0
Adam Rodriguez scored for the Cowboys (3-10-2, 1-1) in the 13th minute. Joshua Roque was credited with the assist. Canyon added four shots on goal and goalkeeper Chase Moynihan had five saves.
Canyon next plays Hart on Jan. 16. Golden Valley is now 3-6-2 and 0-2 and plays Saugus on Jan. 16.
West Ranch 3, Saugus 2
The Wildcats’ Danny Paredes scored two goals and Carlos Gutierrez added one.
West Ranch (6-1-2, 2-0) takes on Valencia on Jan. 16. Saugus (6-4-4, 0-1-1) plays at Golden Valley on the same day.