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Prep boys soccer: Just a single goal in mind

Valencia in outright first after strong defensive effort

Posted: January 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Valencia's Zach Klindworth celebrates his goal against West Ranch on Tuesday at Valencia high school.

 

The way the Valencia Vikings boys soccer team is playing defense these days, all they need is one goal.

The way Valencia senior Zach Klindworth is playing, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Klindworth scored in the 55th minute against the West Ranch Wildcats, and Valencia’s backline took care of the rest as the Vikings won 1-0 on Tuesday at Valencia High School in a matchup between the Foothill’s last two remaining unbeatens.

The victory vaults Valencia (12-4-2 overall, 4-0-1 in Foothill League) into outright first place in league after five games, while it ends West Ranch’s four-game win streak in Foothill play.

“I made a New Year’s resolution to just enjoy (soccer) as much as possible and really, every game I’m just enjoying it. I’m having fun, and that’s when I play to my strongest ability,” said Klindworth, who has scored six goals in league play and at least one in all five games.

The senior forward was finally able to find the back of the net after Valencia had put constant pressure on the West Ranch defense, including a shot off the left crossbar and a few others that just missed.

Valencia’s Jake Ferry passed the ball to Klindworth down the right side, where Klindworth beat two Wildcat defenders and had an open shot from about 15 yards away.

He tapped it into the goal.

“He’s now being dangerous every time he gets the ball, so he’s really doing well this year. I’m really proud of him,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio.

Once the goal was scored, the Vikings did what they always do. They committed extra players to defense and held off a hard-charging West Ranch (12-4-2, 4-1-0).

Returning from injury for the first time in two weeks was Valencia sweeper Jake Veiga, who played well in limited action. The other four defenders who did the dirty work for Valencia included Julian De Vita, Aaron Chamness, Josh Singer and Ian Canevari.

“When you play against a defensive team, it really gives them an incentive to bring another guy back (after they score), and then we’re really battling,” said West Ranch head coach Fred McGinn.

Despite the defense, the Wildcats still had their chances in the final 25 minutes, taking seven total shots in the second half and 11 in the game.

West Ranch senior Justice Rodrigues’ attempt from the top of the 18-yard box went just wide left in the 70th minute and his teammate Brandon Benitez headed a ball that barely skipped over the top of the goal in the final minutes.

West Ranch falls to second place in league with the loss.

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