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Prep soccer: Hart’s rapid ascension

Indians dominate second half to improve record to 4-1

Posted: December 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hart’s Brayon Rodriguez, right, tries to win the ball from Lancers defender Luke Hoffman on Thursday at Hart High.

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As the season goes on, Hart boys soccer is quickly getting better and better.

On Thursday against Thousand Oaks High, the game played out the same way.

It took Hart most of a shortened first half to find the back of the net, but that set off a dominant performance that led to a convincing 4-0 victory at Hart High School.

“I think we started getting each other’s vibes and we just started playing together,” said Hart striker Anthony Caso, who scored the last two goals of the game.

The Indians (4-1) didn’t score until stoppage time in the first half when Edwin Medina delivered the ball to Nico Ferrero near midfield.

Ferrero took the pass in stride and controlled it down the right side of the 18-yard box before delivering a shot into the left corner for the 1-0 lead.

Shortly before that, Thousand Oaks midfielder Derek Stewart was taken off the field in an ambulance after he was knocked out following a violent collision with a Hart player.

Stewart gained consciousness shortly after and was moving all extremities afterward, but the 21-minute delay forced officials to shorten the first half by 15 minutes.

Despite the setback, the Lancers (0-3-1) remained on the offensive for most of the half, putting pressure on Hart’s back line as well as goalkeeper Matthew Ortiz.

As time ticked down, though, Hart turned into the aggressor, using relentless defensive pressure to win possession of the ball.

“It’s more about individual pressure and just winning the one-on-ones,” said Hart head coach Adonay Jovel.

But as the game became more physical, the tension mounted between Thousand Oaks head coach Mark Tietjen and the officials.

Tietjen spoke simply about the contest.

“I felt like the refs were the difference in the game,” he said.

A total of four yellow cards were issued in all, two for each side.

“You can’t go in soft,” Caso said of the physical nature of the game.

It all seemed to play into the hands of the Indians, who outshot the Lancers 8-5 and began to run away with the match in the final 15 minutes.

Osmar Martinez powered a shot inside the right post from the top-left portion of the box at the 14-minute mark of the second half. Then, with 8:15 left to play, Caso headed in his first goal of the game.

Caso’s score came directly off a Saul Avila corner kick from the left side.

In the final seconds of the game, Caso added the final tally when Jordan Karroll sent a cross into the box, where it deflected off Medina before giving Caso the open look.

It put the finishing touch on a game that Jovel called the best he’s seen out of the team thus far.

“We’re working on getting everybody to work together as a team,” the first-year head coach said, “and I think the more we do that, the better we get.”

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