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West Ranch finishes Hart

Wildcats recover from offensive drought

Posted: January 23, 2009 10:21 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Given how West Ranch has had trouble scoring in Foothill League play, Friday’s game against Hart must have felt like a huge sigh of relief.

Steven Delgado had a goal and three assists as the Wildcats finished their chances and blanked the Indians 4-0 at West Ranch High School.

“It’s something we’ve been begging for and hoping for,” said West Ranch head coach Mo Burgess. “We’ve had opportunities all season, it’s just we finally finished.”

The finishing began early in the contest when Sergio Torres settled a ball from Delgado out of the air and placed it past Hart keeper Garrett Harney to give West Ranch (6-4-5, 1-1-2) the lead.

Midway through the first half, Delgado found the net himself by taking a long ball from Colin Amsler down the left flank and drilling a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net to double the advantage.

“We’ve been practicing a lot on offense,” Delgado said. “We haven’t been able to score. We had a good practice (Thursday), and we came here to make sure we finished, and we did.”

Just like West Ranch, Hart (2-10-3, 0-4-0) has had trouble scoring this season, but the Indians couldn’t capitalize on the chances generated by the offense.

“I think we’re playing better,” said Hart head coach Fausto Arana. “We just don’t finish. We get the ball up there. We move the ball. We just don’t finish.”

After the first two goals, the Wildcats seemed to let down and Hart began controlling the middle.

“We had defensive lapses that I wasn’t really happy with,” Burgess said. “We got a little happy with our lead and kind of played a little goofy in the back, and normally we don’t do that kind of thing.”

Fortunately for West Ranch, the Indians couldn’t capitalize on their chances.

Late in the first half, Delgado flicked a corner into the box for Ivan Rudas, who knocked it into the net for a backbreaking goal.

Juan Pineda capped the scoring late in the game by trapping a pass from Delgado and touching it past Harney.

Because of the wet weather conditions, the field was slicker and more unpredictable. As a result, both teams fired shots from the outside to keep the defense off balance.

“My players understand that when it’s raining, the field is fast, and they adapted to that,” Arana said. “Like I said, if you don’t put the ball in the net, it’s going to be a bad game, and that’s the way they see it.”

West Ranch had little trouble in that department.

“We were accurate today,” Burgess said. “Some days it works, some days it doesn’t, but today it worked.

“I think once you start finishing you know how to finish, and hopefully we can continue to do it.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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