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Hat Trick Sparks Cowboys

Posted: January 29, 2008 2:02 a.m.
Updated: March 31, 2008 2:01 a.m.

Zachary Franklin of Canyon kicks the ball upfield in the first half of a home game against Golden Valley. The Cowboys scored all of their goals in the second half and won 3-0.

Alex McCaslin has been waiting all season to have a game like he did on Monday against Golden Valley.

The Canyon High forward hadn't scored all season, his first on the varsity boys soccer team, but broke through with three goals to defeat the Grizzlies 3-0 at home.
"I haven't scored since last year," the junior said. "Every time I'd miss or get close, I'd get down on myself."
If scoring has been a mystery for McCaslin all year, stopping the forward's shots proved to be one for the Golden Valley defense and goalkeeper Jordan Molina, a friend of McCaslin's from when the two played AYSO together.
The game was a make-up contest originally scheduled for Jan. 25, but the recent storms postponed the match until Monday.
After playing to a scoreless tie in the first half, McCaslin notched his hat trick over a 20-minute stretch in the second frame.
He knocked his first one home with a header off a cross from Javier Norris in the 54th minute. No Grizzlies defenders stayed with McCaslin when he snuck into the penalty box and waited on the far post.
"I saw two players move toward (Norris)," McCaslin said. "I came in from behind and called for the cross and headed it in. Pretty easy."
The second goal was nearly identical to the first. This time, however, it was off a cross from Brandon Rios that McCaslin placed into the back of the net with his head, eight minutes after his first goal.
"He's excellent in the air," said Cowboys head coach Khris Savage. "Just getting the crosses into him was the last part of the puzzle."
After showing what he can do in the air, the right-footed McCaslin showcased his dribbling on the third goal, dribbling down the line, cutting into the box past a Golden Valley defender, and shooting a left-footed shot to the opposite side of the net past Molina.
Canyon (9-9-3, 4-1-1) controlled much of the possession in the second half, after Golden Valley (8-7-1, 1-5) put some serious pressure on the Cowboys in the first frame.
"We have the firepower that we should be scoring three or four goals a game," said Grizzlies head coach Phil Lopez. "We just don't have that one little spark or one aspect."
Canyon goalkeeper Andrew Wilson made four saves in the first half, one coming from close range off the foot of Grizzlies forward Andres Bueno where Wilson dove to get his fingertips on the shot, and then crawled to the ball before it rolled into the net.
"We were lucky to get out of the first half with no goals," Savage said.
Wilson stopped another breakaway by Bueno in the 67th minute, and finished the game with 10 saves.
"To me, he was the player of the game first and then Alex," Savage said. "He really kept us in that game."
It was yet another frustrating result for Golden Valley, who now are 1-5 in Foothill League play.
The second half also marred a good showing by Molina in the first half, who made several impressive saves to keep his team tied with Canyon 0-0 at the break.
In the 11th minute, Molina tipped a close-range Canyon shot out of danger after a corner kick.
Canyon's Shaun McLaughlin headed a ball in from about five yards out that Molina also tipped over the net and out of danger.
He made a diving save to his left at the post to stop a shot by Bill King. Molina finished with five saves.
"Jordan played a heck of a game, an admirable game," Lopez said. "The defense had two points where they scored on an breakdown. That's all it takes at this level."
The two teams don't have much time to dwell on Monday's result, as both teams play today on the road. Canyon faces Saugus, and the Grizzlies will play West Ranch.


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