West Ranch soccer ties with Golden Valley 

Ian Cruz (27) of Valencia and Valentino Gonzalez (14) of Golden Valley go after a pass at Golden Valley on Tuesday, 010323. Dan Watson/The Signal

 West Ranch Wildcats boys’ soccer picked up its third league draw of the season in a scoreless affair with the visiting Golden Valley Grizzlies. 

The Grizzlies (5-5-4, 1-3-2) won the possession battle but just couldn’t generate many quality looks and launch a ball past Cats goalkeeper Tyler Balandran. 

Golden Valley keeper Gelber Sandoval also played well in his clean sheet performance.  

The Wildcats (1-4-3, 0-2-3) attack led by Andrew Montes, fared the same but head coach Mike Kane was still pleased with his group’s effort. 

“Andrew Montes played well in the midfield and really showed his senior leadership,” Kane said. “Our back line played particularly well, minimizing GV offensive opportunities.” 

Montes leads a dangerous Wildcat attack from the midfield. The team has struggled to find wins but Golden Valley head coach Stephen Evinson knows West Ranch is more than capable of scoring and winning games. 

West Ranch midfielder Andrew Montes (7) and Canyon defender Anthony Apolinar (17) compete for the ball in the first half of a Foothill League regular season match at West Ranch High School on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Canyon defeated West Ranch 5-3 Chris Torres/The Signal

“West Ranch’s midfield is solid,” Evison said. “They have one of the most dynamic, physical, and smartest midfielders in the league, Andrew ‘Wolfie’ Montes. Anytime he gets free you just hold your breath.” 

Foothill League soccer is around halfway complete for both squads. The teams sit toward the bottom of the standings but, with plenty of matches left, they each have the talent and a chance to make the postseason. 

“This marks the end of our first half of the league games,” Evison said. “We’ve got to really dig deep and play good, quality soccer if we want a chance of making the playoffs. Honestly [I just want us to] band together, enjoy the moment, and continue to work hard. If we embrace each other and can finally become a team then we should cross the finish line in a place where we want to be.” 

The Grizzlies will take the field again on Monday at 3:15 p.m. for a non-league game with Lakeview Charter. Golden Valley enters the back half of league play on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. with a home matchup with Castaic. West Ranch will also return to league action at Castaic in a Tuesday matchup at 3:15 p.m. 

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