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S.C. storms into playoffs

Posted: July 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Storm players from left, Martin Galvan, Alex Harlley, and Tyler Coombes celebrate after Coombes scored The Storm's second goal at Canyon High School on Saturday.

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Despite a late comeback rally by the visiting San Diego Flash, the Santa Clarita Storm won 4-3 with a goal in the final minute of regulation at Canyon high school on Saturday.


After surrendering a 3-1 lead late, Storm forward Tyler Coombes made history in the 89th minute with a breakaway goal to send SCV to its first playoff appearance in club history.


It was Coombes’ second breakaway goal of the game and 15th goal of the season.


The Storm controlled the game until the Flash countered with goals in the 84th and 87th minute to tie the score up late and set up a fantastic finish.


SCV clinched second place in the Southwest conference by beating San Diego, ending the Flash’s undefeated season.


“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and nothing was going to be handed to us”, Storm head coach Jose Mesa said.


“My guys fought strong all the time and made it happen.”


In the first half, the Storm were led by forward Martin Galvan with his goal in the 26th minute capitalizing on a nice pass from his twin brother Richard Galvan for the game’s opening score.


Martin followed his goal up with an assist to Coombes in the 36th minute to take the early 2-0 lead.


He then added another assist with a crisp cross-field pass to Alex Harlley for a breakaway goal early into the second half to give the Storm a commanding 3-0 lead.


SCV (8-3-3) avenged its disappointing 3-0 loss to the conference champion Flash (11-1-2) in a previous head-to-head match-up.


The Storm were also sparked by stellar play from goalkeeper Alex Burkevics, who finished the game with 16 saves and made some great diving plays to shift momentum for the home team.


“We were focused on this game since it was a final for us. We needed to win and not worry about anything else going on around us in the standings”, Mesa said.


Santa Clarita Valley and the Flash will be the two representatives of the Southwest Conference and will play the top two seeds of the Northwest Conference in the playoffs, for the right to move on to the NPSL national tournament in San Diego.


The Storm now with have to regroup and carry their momentum into Sacramento next week for their opening postseason game.


“The morale of the team is high,” Mesa said, “but I hope we can recover from this long roadtrip.”


All proceeds from the game were donated to the Penny Lane Foundation, which teamed with the Storm with the intent of helping underprivileged kids and families while guiding them to reach their highest potential.

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