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Valencia boys soccer starting strong

Vikings down Clovis 3-1, still unbeaten in new season

Posted: December 12, 2013 10:49 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2013 10:49 p.m.

The Valencia soccer team celebrates after Anthony Alfonso scores a goal against Clovis High at Valencia on Thursday.

 

The Valencia Vikings boys soccer team brought more intensity than the visiting Clovis Cougars could handle on Thursday evening at Valencia High School.

Led by sophomore forward Diego Valencia’s two goals, the Vikings won 3-1 to keep their undefeated start to the 2013 season alive.

“We’re all young, every time we go out and play we feel like we have to prove ourselves,” said Valencia, who was a crossbar away from a hat trick. “So far on offense Anthony (Alfonso) and I do a lot of talking on the field to keep things going.”

Entering Thursday’s contest, the Vikings hadn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard, instead relying on their stingy defense to close games out.

That wasn’t the case against Clovis, as Valencia (3-0-1) continuously stretched the defense with aggressive outlet passes whenever it regained possession of the ball.

Taking things from there was Valencia, who scored the game’s first goal 10 minutes in off a rebound from an errant shot.

To begin the second half, Valencia intercepted a pass by Clovis defender Adrian Gonzales and scored off of a bizarre deflection to give the Vikings a commanding 2-0 lead in the 41st minute.

Clovis was unable to get comfortable against the Vikings, who used their slight size advantage to push players off the ball and disrupt potential scoring opportunities.

Still, the Cougars (3-2-2) brought the game within a goal when freshman forward Alex Martinez scored off an assist from Jacob Lopez with 15 minutes remaining in the contest.

It was just the second goal the Vikings have surrendered through the first four games of the season.

“We never give up many goals,” said Vikings head coach Tony Scalercio. “We got after it today on offense but we are still a balanced team.”

The Vikings answered the Cougars late in the game when Alfonso rebounded a shot from Valencia that bounced off the cross bar in stoppage time.

The goal gave Valencia a 3-1 lead and sealed the win.

As the regular season heats up, perhaps the biggest question mark with Valencia (which won its first ever Foothill League title in boys soccer in 2012) is its youth.
Valencia’s 21-man roster has just eight seniors.

Still, through two weeks the team hasn’t lost yet.

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