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Bombs away

Vikings girls soccer scores 17 goals in two games at tourney

Posted: December 26, 2008 10:56 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Kelly Beckers (3) directs her kick towards the center of the field during their tournament match against Golden Valley Friday afternoon at Hart High School. The Vikings beat the Grizzlies 7-0.

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Valencia swarmed Golden Valley from the opening whistle and blanked the Grizzlies 7-0 to cap a strong performance on the opening day of the Hart Showcase Tournament.

Earlier in the day, the Vikings (6-4-1) defeated Kennedy 10-0 but they didn't score their first goal against Golden Valley (0-5-1) until midway through the first half.

"We started out a little rusty," said Valencia head coach Sean O'Connell. "I think we took (Golden Valley) a little lightly out of the gate because we were a little cocky coming off that morning win."

With around 17 minutes to play in the first half, Valencia finally broke through as center midfielder Alyssa Triana gained possession on the left wing and launched a shot over Golden Valley keeper Alexandra Smith, giving Valencia a 1-0 lead.

Despite the goal, Smith was a big reason it took Valencia that long to score, making several saves and beating the Vikings to the ball.

A few minutes after the first goal, Valencia striker Kelly Deckers hit a corkscrew shot from the left side of the goal box that found the back of the net, and shortly after, center mid Aly Drake crashed the back post off a corner kick and punched the ball past Smith to push the lead to 3-0.

Three midfielders teamed up to score Valencia's last goal before halftime as Haleigh O'Connell headed a throw-in by Tiffany Geer toward Taylor Harrison, who took it in stride and blasted it into the net.

"Once we got our first goal, then it just opened up the floodgates a little bit," Sean O'Connell said.

Early in the second half, Drake took possession on the right flank and ducked a couple defenders before ripping a shot from the top of the box that sailed into the net.

Midway through the second half, Valencia midfielder Kristin Bos finished a cross from midfielder Emily Tuffey, and Bos helped finish the scoring by tipping a ball over the top of the Golden Valley defense to Deckers, who took a couple touches and planted a shot in the lower-left corner.

In general, the Valencia midfield did a solid job of keeping possession and not allowing the Grizzlies any chance to build an attack.

"I don't think they had one legitimate shot on goal the entire game," O'Connell said.

Golden Valley head coach Jose Leon knows that playing an experienced side like Valencia will help his fledgling program.

"Our players are not playing at the level that Valencia is playing, and there's nothing I can do about it," he said. "The girls want to have fun and learn, and hopefully in a couple years we can build a program that can take us to the next level."


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