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Prep soccer: Preleague win is a win

Valencia opens season with victory over Bakersfield school

Posted: December 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Valencia's Marc Silingardi, center, slips a goal past Stockdale goalkeeper Ben Shenouda (1) on Friday at Valencia High.

It’s always this time of year that Valencia boys soccer opens up with a home game under the lights.

And this go around, the Vikings walked away with a cut-and-dry 1-0 victory over Stockdale High of Bakersfield at Valencia High.

In the game’s 67th minute, with Valencia shifted into an abnormal for the Vikings offensive set with three forwards up top, senior Josh Singer sent a through ball into a scrum near the net.

Valencia’s Marc Silingardi took the long pass and sent it past Stockdale goalkeeper Ben Shenouda for the game’s lone score.

“I took a couple of steps away from the defender and saw the keeper come out. So I put it over him,” Silingardi said.

The Mustangs had late opportunities.

Its best came in the game’s 77th minute as Stockdale junior Anthony Martinez was tugged down just past midfield.

It set up a free kick that senior Mark Looney took, but his ball was redirected out of bounds by teammate Brennen Canfield.

Vikings goalkeeper Gino Ferraro faced few threats in the second half.

“I think we were a little tired from last night and we went to sleep for a moment,” said Stockdale head coach David Atkinson of his team.

Stockdale (0-2) took a road trip south to play Santa Paula, Valencia (1-0) and Oaks Christian this week.

It’s that time of year where one will see an odd team in its schedule.

Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio, like many coaches, refer to it as “preseason” rather than “preleague.”

The connotation of preseason is different, giving it less weight on a team’s overall season.

“I tell our kids our preseason is practice,” Scalercio said. “It’s a chance to figure who to put in the right position for league. The bottom line is I’m more concerned on where players fit and what we need to work on.”

Yet Scalercio said that doesn’t mean he and his team aren’t competitive.

In fact, a smile cracked his face at the final result — 1-0, which the defensive-minded coach referred to as his favorite score.

Valencia displayed its strong defense throughout the game, and delivered the necessary offense.

Scalercio said there’s a lot to work on, though.

The Vikings tied for third place in the Foothill League last year and lost in the wild card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.

Valencia has just one returning All-Foothill League first-teamer in senior forward Jesus Fernandez and one honorable mention in Ferraro.

Yet Scalercio is optimistic about a mostly veteran team.

“I think we’ll be really competitive like last year,” he said.



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