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Vikings erase the past

Posted: February 21, 2014 10:48 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2014 10:48 p.m.

The Valencia Vikings girls soccer team wanted to quickly erase the memory of falling just short of a Foothill League title last week.

One minute and 10 seconds will have to be quickly enough.

Bailey Reid scored off an assist from Sammy Simon in the second minute of Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division II first-round match with the Santa Barbara Dons, sending the ball up and over the keeper from the left side of the 18-yard box to spur a 3-0 Vikings’ victory.

“We were really focused and determined to get our winning streak back and start fresh,” Reid said.

Valencia entered the final week-and-a-half of the season with a chance to win a Foothill League title. Instead, the Vikings lost to both Canyon and Hart, settling for second.

The game was as complete a performance as the Vikings (19-3-2 overall) have put together all season, stonewalling the Dons (7-7-4) defensively, and consistently applying pressure in the attacking zone.

Valencia tallied 25 shots, scoring on its first and last shot of the first half.

That second goal came with 9:20 remaining in the half, when Rebecca Harrison put the ball in the top-left corner from about 30 yards out to give Valencia a 2-0 lead.

Kristen Fowble made it 3-0 on a goal from directly in front of goal with 12 minutes left.

“Just keep playing the same way,” said Harrison of maintaining pressure after scoring the early goal. “You play like you have no goals.”

Despite the early deficit, Santa Barbara didn’t go away easily.

The Dons kept Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph busy with eight shots on target.

Joseph, though, was up to the challenge every time.

“They had fight,” Joseph said. “We’ve never seen them and they hadn’t seen us. For a team down 3-0 they kept fighting and that earned them respect.”

Now, the Vikings will play either Lakewood or Big VIII League champion Santiago Corona on Wednesday afternoon where they hope to replicate, and perhaps surpass, Friday’s performance.

“If we play like we did today we can beat anyone,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell, before adding the one area he’d like to see improvement.

“The amount of great chances inside the 18 that we didn’t take advantage of. You’ve got to be able to take the gimmes.”


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