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Prep boys soccer: The breaks go both ways

Grizzlies draw with league-leading West Ranch

Posted: February 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.

West Ranch's Carlos Porcayo (19) takes a shot on as teamate Rhys Wheatley (27) looks on and Golden Valley's Grant Ellfeldt (4) Michael Richardson (5) and Dominic Amara (14) defend on Tuesday at Golden Valley.

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Golden Valley Grizzlies boys soccer didn’t get a lot of breaks to go its way this season.

But the team continues to preach that they’re playing at a high level.

What better way to prove that than to stun the Foothill League’s first-place West Ranch Wildcats with a 1-1 tie on Tuesday at Golden Valley High School?

“We’re a good team,” said Golden Valley senior Sebastian Martinez. “I think we’ve gotten a little bit unlucky. I feel like we could’ve beaten any team.”

And although the Grizzlies (6-11-4 overall, 1-5-3 Foothill League) came into the day well out of playoff contention, they nearly pulled off the upset of the season.

Martinez scored for Golden Valley in the 48th minute and West Ranch had to work for the equalizing goal, which was scored by Wade McMillon in the 68th minute.

“They had nothing to lose,” McMillon said of Golden Valley. “We had everything to lose, and in the first half, they came out a little better.”

In reality, by salvaging a tie, West Ranch (15-4-3, 7-1-1) maintains control of its own destiny for a league title. With Valencia also tying on Tuesday in a 1-1 final against Hart, the Wildcats remain on top of the Foothill standings by a single point.

Plain and simple, if West Ranch earns a win or a tie against Valencia in Thursday’s Foothill finale, the Wildcats are league champions for the third straight year.

But Golden Valley still did everything it could to add stress to West Ranch’s title run.

The momentum shifted to the Grizzlies after their goalkeeper John Galvan made a sliding save on a penalty kick attempt by West Ranch’s Justice Rodrigues in the 13th minute.

The PK was awarded after Golden Valley was called for a hand ball inside the 18-yard box.

From there, Golden Valley picked up the intensity on both the attacking and the defensive ends, which eventually led to Martinez’s score early in the second half.

Billy Torres Argueta delivered the ball to Martinez, who had his first try saved by West Ranch goalkeeper Alex Manzo, but put the second try in off the deflection.

West Ranch picked up its offensive pressure, and broke through thanks to an accurate pass from Zack Parr in traffic. The ball found a streaking McMillon on the right side before McMillon launched it from the top of the 18-yard box, off the far post and in the goal.

Golden Valley wraps up its regular season on Thursday against Saugus.



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