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Pro soccer: Out of possession

Santa Clarita gives up three unanswered goals in a home loss

Posted: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Storm forward Alex Harlley, left, collides with Bay Area’s Emrah Klimenta as he heads the ball on Saturday at Hart High School.

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A failure to execute in front of the net on the part of the visiting Bay Area Ambassadors kept host Santa Clarita Storm in front by a goal for most of the first half.

But when the Ambassadors finally broke through, on a goal inside the 6-yard box by Bryan Walle, it led to three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over the Storm.

“I’m disappointed with all of them,” said Storm head coach Jose Meza of his team. “We lost because we weren’t doing the things we’ve been doing (all season).”

Santa Clarita, in its debut season in the valley, jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the 19th minute on a header by Golden Valley High graduate and former College of the Canyons player Andres Bueno off a corner kick from Stephen Martines.

The Storm (3-2-2) participates in the National Premier Soccer League, which operates under the United States Soccer Federation, a third tier semi-pro organization.

The Ambassadors (3-4-1) had opportunities to equalize throughout the first half, but continually made poor choices with the ball in the

attacking zone to thwart their chances.

But in the 40th minute, Bay Area broke through on Walle’s goal off a cross from Javier Hill to send the teams to the half tied 1-1.

Walle didn’t wait long to get back on the board, either.

After receiving a throw-in down the right sideline from near midfield, Walle raced toward goal before sending a right-to-left shot over the keeper for a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute.

From there, the Ambassadors made life difficult for the Storm, taking advantage of their size to pressure on defense.

“They are strong and tall players,” Meza said. “They know how to use their tall players. So it’s difficult for us.”

The Storm managed five shots on goal in the game, with just two in the second half.

“We didn’t have the possession of the ball that we’ve had. When you don’t have the possession you can’t start playing,” Meza said.

Bay Area recorded seven shots on goal, with three finding the back of the net.

The third came on a goal from Jordan Keyes, who beat the Storm goalie to the ball for an easy chip-in goal in the 64th minute.

The Storm’s Alex Harlley had two opportunities to score in the waning minutes, but just missed the goal on a shot off a corner and a header off a cross.

Santa Clarita will now travel to play at Eureka at Redwood Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. before hosing San Diego Boca at Hart on June 9.

661-287-5530

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