Boys Soccer: 3-0 loss to Redwood costs Golden West a chance at a fourth year atop the West Yosemite League
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
VISALIA – There will be a new solo champion atop the West Yosemite League this season. Golden West’s three-year reign officially ended last Friday night with 3-0 loss to the Redwood Rangers. The El Diamante Miners, the last team besides Golden West to win a league title in 2014, stand in first place.
“Credit to Redwood. They were better than us for just about the entire first half,” Golden West head coach John McCaw said. “If we do not come out and play better against a team like Redwood than we are going to get punished.”
The effort that the Golden West Blazers (9-7-2,6-4) put forth was minimal. Absent was the top-level play that had produced last season’s D-II Valley Championship. On more than one occasion the Blazers let the Redwood Rangers (16-5-2,9-2) offense have multiple scoring chances on one attack.
Second chance scoring opportunities produced the Rangers first two goals in the opening half. The first only a few minutes into the start of the game came from the top of the penalty box. Brian Perez chipped the ball from the near side of the field up and over the Blazers keeper. Then in the 31st minute Elder Giron knocked in a loose ball from inside the penalty box. Grion’s goal came off a Redwood corner. One which the Blazers had a chance to clear but failed.
“We are not good enough to walk through a game,” McCaw said. “If we do not have that talent then you must make up for it in other areas, and one of those is effort. We just did not have enough of it tonight.”
Golden West had to find someway to get back into the game after falling behind 2-0. It was not in the first half. The last ten minutes of the half the Blazers offense was sluggish to say the least. Attackers from the middle of the field, and ones form the side, who brought the ball up, were not on the same page. That resulted in very few scoring chances for Golden West.
That communication improved in the second half, well at least for the first 20 minutes of it, as the Blazers tried to battle back. The centering strategy continued as Golden West tried to get Fredrick Christiansen involved.
A crossing, and set piece chances came, for one of the taller players on the field that night, in the middle of the half. Daniel Duran attacked up the near side and sent a pass into the Redwood penalty box. It missed Christiansen, but Marques Quaresma made contact. Unfortunately, he hit the ball wide.
Four minutes later Christiansen missed another chance. This time off a set piece from the 20-yard line which the Redwood keeper knocked away.
For McCaw it does not matter, how tall the player is. If they do not attack the ball when the chance is presented to them, as he says it, “we are not going to score.”
Redwood added another set piece goal which was scored by Oswaldo Sanchez late in the game. The Blazers on the other hand had two corner kicks; both were unsuccessful for a score.
Before the Blazers take to the D-I playoffs for the first time they do have to play first place El Diamante. That game is scheduled for tonight with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.