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Cowboys All Alone on Top

Posted: February 6, 2008 11:27 a.m.
Updated: April 8, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Canyon High's Javier Noris (27) heads a ball as Valencia's Renato Sanchez (9) tries to defend. The Cowboys won 1-0.

 
The Canyon High boys soccer team is alone at the top of the Foothill League for the time being.

An Alex McCaslin goal with just over six minutes remaining Tuesday gave the Cowboys a 1-0 win over Valencia High and the lone spot atop league with only one game remaining.
Stephen Wirthlin took advantage of a one-on-one situation on the left side of the goal, sending a cross to McCaslin. McCaslin, with an open look, sent a hard shot past Valencia goalkeeper Alex McIntyre and into the top right side of the goal.
"It was a great cross and then only one defender," McCaslin said. "I saw the goal on the right side open, so I just bent it in."
The Cowboys (11-10-3, 6-2-1) were tied with Saugus High (14-5-4, 5-3-1) coming into the game, but the Centurions suffered a 5-0 loss Tuesday to Golden Valley, which has been on a hot streak as of late, winning four of its last five games.
"I think we took the championship, if I'm not mistaken," head coach Khris Savage said. "At least we tied for it, worst case scenario, with a loss on Thursday. We still have the most number of points."
The momentum of the game seemed to follow the direction of the wind all afternoon. The team defending the goal on the southern goal found itself on the defensive through most of the half.
The Cowboys suffered several close calls in the first half while defending the southern goal. The Vikings had several balls roll their way, resulting in throw-ins in Canyon territory. Valencia got the ball into Canyon's box five times in the first 10 minutes of play but goalkeeper Andrew Wilson, and the defense managed to clear the ball on every possession.
McCaslin had an opportunity to give Canyon the lead in the first half. He took control of the ball after a deflection off a Valencia defender but sent his shot too far left.
Savage received notice of Saugus' loss before halftime but did not officially announce it to the team until after the game.
"I didn't want to put the pressure on them that they had to get a goal," Savage said.
Due to a red card, the Cowboys' David Perez was forced to exit the game early in the second half after a hard take down of McIntyre.
"We went down to 10 players but I still knew that we had momentum because we were going with this wind, which was a factor today," Savage said.
Despite being down a man, the Cowboys' adjustments worked out as they continued on the offensive.
"We had to come up with a new offense tonight," Savage said. " 4-4-1 is what we went down to and thank God it worked out all right."
The Cowboys and Vikings both finished with two corner kicks.
Canyon will follow up its win with a final game at home against Hart on Thursday.
"It's Cowboys and Indians," Savage said. "It doesn't get any better than that. That's why we have a game 10."
Canyon needs a win or a tie against Hart to secure the first- place spot.


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