Undefeated in their first two Foothill League games, the Valencia boys soccer team took on West Ranch at West Ranch on Tuesday.
Capitalizing on scoring opportunities, the Vikings beat the Wildcats 3-0 to remain undefeated in league play.
Valencia (4-2-3 overall, 2-0-1 Foothill League) scored two first-half goals to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Eight minutes into the game, off a Vikings counterattack, Guillermo Martinez used his touch to chip a ball over West Ranch goalkeeper’s Ethan Durfree’s hands for the game’s opening goal.
The second goal was scored with four minutes remaining in the first half of a Wildcats mistake. Off a misjudged backpass, Durfree seemed like he was going to clear the ball, but didn’t get a clean touch.
As the ball rolled towards the middle of the West Ranch penalty box, Azael Jovel slid and put the ball in the back of the net for the.
“We have to be focused for 80 minutes. We can’t let up,” said West Ranch head coach Mike Kane. “That’s the bummer, taking nothing away from Valencia, but I think we are a good team. We are just having a difficult time finishing and getting some shots on goal.”
Throughout the game, West Ranch (2-6-2, 0-2-1) got contributions from forward Josh Swanson and midfielders Jacob Gendein and Niko Marquez were able to create space and get their shots, but couldn’t find each other in timely spots to cut into the deficit.
After Swanson went down with an apparent right leg injury in the 55th minute, the Wildcats’ reserve forward, Daniel Ostlund, leaped into action.
“Next man up,” Kane said.
Revitalized by the inspired play of Ostlund, the Wildcats created several scoring chances with the game winding down, but the Vikings’ defense held stout.
Martinez scored his second goal of the contest with under a minute left to extend the Vikings’ lead to three goals.
“We just have to practice harder and do a better job at practice,” Kane said. “More game-like scenarios at practice and when we can get shots on goal in practice then we will get shot in games. We just have to do a better job of coaching and do a better job at practice. I’m taking the blame for this because the kids are talented and I have to do a better job of coaching them.”
Valencia hosts Golden Valley on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and West Ranch hosts Hart at 3:15 on Thursday.
Golden Valley 1, Saugus 1
Saugus (6-4-2 overall, 0-1-2 Foothill League) dominated the first half and scored on a counterattack as Connor Claborn assisted Jason Nakoud to take a one-goal lead into the half.
Golden Valley (7-4-2, 1-1-1) responded with a second-half goal by Cesar Perez with the assists from Ronny Morales.
The Centurions finished with 20 shots (eight on-goal) and the Grizzlies with 13 shots (nine on-goal).
Golden Valley visits Valencia at 3:15 p.m., while Saugus plays at Canyon at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Canyon 1, Hart 0
Canyon’s Isaac Salinas scored late in the game to hand the Indians their first Foothill League loss of the season.