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Early season stalemate

Posted: December 9, 2008 10:29 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Valencia High School's Haleigh O' Connell (13) battles for the ball against Danny Cardenas (13) from Crescenta Valley High School Tuesday evening. Both teams tied it at 1-1.

The Valencia girls soccer team had its opportunities.

Midway through the second half, the Vikings repeatedly rattled the Falcons' cage only to be turned away several times.

The end result was a 1-1 tie Tuesday at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium.

"It's like a game of ping-pong sometimes," said Valencia head coach Sean O'Connell. "Sometimes it's in, sometimes it's out. We're pacing ourselves right now and trying out different combinations."

The ping-pong, rather, soccer ball was controlled more aggressively late by Crescenta Valley (1-0-2), but it was

Valencia (1-1-1) that took advantage first.

After a scoreless first half, Vikings sophomore defender Kristin Bos took a 10-yard shot from the left side and into the Falcons' net for the 1-0 lead in the 41st minute.

"They did a good job of defending us, but everyone wants to score and I did my best," Bos said.

Yet Valencia's defense suffered a breakdown moments later.
Crescenta Valley answered back in the 56th minute of the game after Amanda Rose Johnson scored on a throw-in.

The rest of the way, the Falcons clamped down.

In the 65th minute of the game a wide open net presented Valencia with an opportune time to score and pull ahead.

But Crescenta Valley's smothering defense didn't allow it.
Crescenta Valley head coach Reggie Rivas quickly identified Viking Alyson Drake's ability to break defenders down, so throughout the second half, she was harassed by multiple defenders.

Drake had a good scoring opportunity in the second half, but was taken down in the 58th minute inside the 18-yard box. The Falcons weren't whistled for a penalty.
Crescenta Valley certainly was a tough challenge.

The Falcons returned 14 players from last year's CIF-Southern Section Division II playoff squad including University of Kansas-bound defender Tori Baldridge.

In three games, Crescenta Valley has allowed only two goals.

One of the goals was surrendered to Saugus in a 1-1 tie on Friday.

Rivas said the competition the team faces is good preparation for what the Falcons' will face in their regular season in the Pacific League.

"When we come here we know it's going to be high level, good quality soccer," Rivas said.


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