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Prep soccer: Canyon done with draws

Three-time defending league champs grab second win of season

Posted: December 7, 2010 10:45 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2010 10:45 p.m.
 


Amidst a difficult non-league schedule, Canyon boys soccer wanted to get a win under its belt after two straight draws.
The Cowboys delivered with authority Tuesday night with a 3-0 win over Crespi of Encino at Canyon High School.

This came four days after Canyon (2-0-2) drew 1-1 against defending CIF-Southern Section Division III champion Paramount which followed a 0-0 draw against Simi Valley last Wednesday.

“The situation was, we put ourselves in a predicament where if we had another tie, we’re starting to settle,” said Canyon head coach Khris Savage. “We never want to settle.”

That was what Savage told the team at halftime when the Cowboys led 1-0, and he didn’t feel like they were playing to their potential.

Specifically, he didn’t think they were forcing the ball down field enough and putting pressure on Crespi’s defense.

Striker Mohammed Roknipour scored the lone first-half goal on a free kick from 25 yards out in the 23rd minute.

But outside of that, Canyon only had three shots on goal in the half.

Two of them came in the final two minutes, when defenders Brandon Davy and Sean McNamara both fired balls off the top crossbar within a minute of each other.

In the second half, the scoring opportunities were plentiful.

Canyon outshot Crespi 13-4 overall in the game and had nine corner kicks.

“I said ‘play the lines and get me corners,’” Savage said of his comments to the team at halftime.

In the Cowboys’ last two games, they managed just one corner kick, so aggressive offense was a major emphasis coming into the game, Savage said.

The aggression paid off in the 62nd minute when striker Bonifacios Rojas’ corner kick deflected off midfielder Sipriano Vigil and was headed in by Daniel Foster.

The sophomore was credited with his first goal of the season, and not even he could explain how it happened.
“It hit some part of my body,” he said. “That’s all I know.”

Roknipour added an insurance goal 12 minutes later when he ran down a loose ball and fired it into the lower left corner of the goal.

Canyon kept the ball on its side of the field nearly all of the second half, using its speedy middles to maintain possession of the ball along the sidelines.

“I think the biggest thing was physicality,” said Crespi head coach Rob Kodama. “Physically, they took it to us and we showed our youth a little bit.”

Defensively, Canyon crowded the middle of the field and kept Crespi from any promising scoring opportunities.
Cowboys goalkeeper Robert McCampbell had five saves in the match.

Canyon travels to play in the Santa Barbara High School Showcase beginning on Friday.

“It gets our confidence going into these next few games,” Foster said of the win. “We’re playing some pretty tough teams.”

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