By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Valencia Vikings (3-10, 1-1) showed no issues putting away the visiting Indians (5-9, 1-2).
Valencia was led Tuesday by a pair of upperclassmen with hat tricks but got scoring from all over the roster.
Vikings captain Trinity Custodia and Ellery O’Hara netted three goals each, out scoring Hart by themselves.
Custodia was everywhere, winning faceoffs, pressuring hard at midfield and finishing at the Indians’ net.
O’Hara slung in the first goal of the night less than a minute into the game. It took a while for the Vikings to start pouring it on but after 10 minutes of good defense, Hart caved.
Valencia then hammered in five goals over a near six-minute span.
The Vikings’ defense also did their part as well, blanking the Indians in the first half. Valencia pressured hard at midfield and knocked balls loose all night, giving the Indians hardly any chances to find any rhythm.
Hart came out of the halftime break knowing the task at hand and surged in doing so.
The Indians scored three straight goals in a 10-minute span, cutting the lead to just three goals.
Sophomore Bella Dupoc would lead the way for Hart and netted two goals.
Custodia saw enough and immediately ended the scoring run by herself. The captain netted her second and third goals of the night on some dominant plays by the senior.
“I always like going where I’m most needed,” said Trinity. “I like playing everywhere. I like going where the ball is.”
Hart would manage two more goals but Valencia never let up and scored three goals in the final three minutes of the game.
Maya Yiadom scored both of her goals with less than six minutes left in the game to help put away the Indians.
Valencia’s defense was stifling enough, but even when Hart managed to get off a clean look, either Gianna Prude or Kayla Barragan was in at goalie to make some great saves. The Indians struggled to get back in it after their 3-0 run.
“Our ball movement is still slow and very stagnant,” said Hart interim head coach Tony Bendfoldt. “That’s my biggest focus going forward.
Valencia was coming off an impressive shortened season last spring but so far have struggled this year with some tough non-league matchups.
“We wanted to take that next step and get better as a team,” said Valencia interim head coach Brett Custodia. “It didn’t go the way we wanted to in the beginning of the season. But, I couldn’t be happier now because now that we’re in league, we’re a little more focused. We’re playing better together and looking out for each other.”
The Vikings ended their three-game skid with a solid victory and move to .500 in Foothill League play. Hart on the other hand has lost two in a row, both by seven goals.
The Indians will have a long trip for an away match with Santa Barbara on Saturday at 10 a.m. Valencia will enjoy their spring break and be off for nearly two weeks before hosting Saugus on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m.