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Prep soccer: Early Lions get ‘Cats

West Ranch allows a goal six minutes in and loses 1-0

Posted: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

West Ranch's Eduardo Trujillo, right, heads the ball in front of Eastside's Edwin Quiroz on Tuesday at West Ranch High.

 

In the long run, the two-time defending Foothill League champion West Ranch boys soccer team could be in good shape again this season.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats couldn’t generate enough offense to hold off a red-hot, undefeated Eastside team at West Ranch High School.

Coming off a victory at the Palmdale Tournament last week, Eastside beat West Ranch 1-0 after scoring just six minutes into the game.

“We didn’t start the game off right mentally,” said West Ranch head coach Fred McGinn. “In our warmups we were goofy, and it showed in the first 15-20 minutes.”

The Lions (6-0) put constant pressure on the Wildcats’ backline through the first portion of the first half, and it quickly paid off.

Edwin Quiroz crossed the ball from the far left corner all the way across the field, where Alexis Romero pounced on it and knocked in the game’s only goal.

McGinn called that goal an uncharacteristic lapse for the defense, which he expects big things from this year.

“We’re pretty tight defensively this year,” he said. “Even better than last year.”

West Ranch has 14 seniors and a strong mix of talent all over the field, which gives McGinn high hopes come league play.

Once West Ranch (2-1) got settled down on Tuesday, that started to show.

A big, physical and experienced Eastside team continued to get the ball in scoring territory, but the Wildcats’ backline stepped up to the challenge time after time and got the ball out of harm’s way.

With West Ranch’s defense holding up its end of the bargain and the Lions content to pull back and hold onto a lead, the game turned into somewhat of a stalemate.

“It was kind of a dead game by both sides,” said Eastside head coach Eric Long. “Neither team really had possession the whole time.”

Offensively, the Wildcats did get some chances as the game wore on.

Forwards Wade McMillon and Justice Rodrigues were the two main instigators, often playing the ball back and forth between each other to look for an open shot.

“We were camped in their half (of the field),” McGinn said. “We just couldn’t get it in.”

West Ranch managed nine shots to Eastside’s seven, and many of them were quality looks created by free kicks or corner kicks.

“They were just physical,” said McMillon, who fired a couple shots off the crossbar or just beyond it. “(Eastside) wanted it. They played with a lot of heart.”

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