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Prep soccer: Vikings do just enough

Valencia wins narrowly despite dominating possession

Posted: December 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia's Lindsay Bos dribbles past Alemany's Caitlynn Bennett on Wednesday at Valencia High. Bos scored once in the game.

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The way Valencia girls soccer played most of the game, it could have been a runaway victory.

As it turned out, the Vikings did just enough to hold off Alemany 2-1 on Wednesday at Valencia High School.

Despite controlling the ball and creating several golden opportunities to score, particularly in the first half, Valencia (5-1-1) needed a late second-half goal by senior Lindsay Bos to pull in front for good.

“We were playing well,” Bos said. “I knew the goals would come eventually.”

That’s the kind of standard this team sets for itself, boasting five seniors and nine juniors and four returning All-Foothill League players.

The first goal came much quicker for the Vikings, as Taylor Venegas headed in a ball following a corner kick just five minutes into the game to put her team up 1-0.

Despite an array of chances after that, the score held through halftime.

“The first 40 minutes we were all over them,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell. “We had seven or eight corners and three or four headers that we should have put away.”

O’Connell said he’s expecting a lot of this team after an impressive performance in the Aliso Cup tournament last week, which featured several top-notch Southern California teams.

The Vikings showed their experience on both ends of the field Wednesday. Defensively, they pressured the ball and cleared it out of Alemany’s scoring range quickly.

When it had possession, Valencia connected with on-target passes, which often led to quality shots on goal.

The Warriors (4-1-1) tied it up on a counter play when the Vikings’ defense was out of position in the 58th minute.

Alemany had three players streaking toward the goal against just one Viking defender. Eventually, Hinako Omizu delivered the ball to a waiting Carissa Martine, who took a straight-on shot from 10 yards and scored off the hands of Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph.

“They played better, they played hard, and I thought they deserved a tie,” said Alemany head coach Gus Garrido of his team.

It was just three minutes later when Bos, a fourth-year varsity player, lined up for a freekick from 29 yards out.

“I just thought, ‘I know this distance. I know what I’m capable of,’ and I just went for it,’” Bos said.

The ball floated high in the air and came down just inside the top crossbar for Valencia’s eventual game winner.

Valencia got the job done with four of its players out with injuries.

Fortunately for the Vikings, the plan to have them fully healthy by the time Foothill play begins on Jan. 8 against Saugus.

“We’ve got some injuries now, but by the time league comes around, we’ll be fine,” Bos said.

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