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Prep boys soccer: Vikes make quick work

Valencia scores in first 12 seconds of a shutout win

Posted: February 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.

Valencia High teammates from left, Marc Silingardi (10), Colton Morgan (2) and Jesus Fernandez (7) celebrate on Friday at Valencia High.

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The strength of Valencia Vikings boys soccer all season has been the team’s ability to hold onto leads, no matter the opponent.

Given that characteristic, this game was all but over just 12 seconds into the CIF-Southern Section Division IV first-round game on Friday.

That’s how long it took for Valencia senior Jesus Fernandez to score and give his team the upper hand in an eventual 2-0 win over the Chino Cowboys at Valencia High.

For the next 79 minutes and 48 seconds, the Foothill League champion Vikings (16-4-3) did what they always do. They shut the opponent team down from start to finish.

“It’s my first home playoff game and its my first (playoff) win,” Fernandez said. “This was very important and we did it as a team.”

Fernandez scored both of Valencia’s goals, adding another one in the final seconds of the game on a breakaway toward an empty net. Chino had pulled its goalkeeper in a last-ditch effort to score.

“We kept it at 1-0 the whole game. We kept it out,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. “The most important thing is we didn’t give up a goal. We played decent defense.”

In the first few seconds of the game, a Chino defender whiffed on an attempt to head the ball out of harm’s way, but instead the ball landed right in front of Fernandez with a wide open lane to goal on the left side.

He quickly took the ball inside, faked to the right and tapped the ball into the left side of the goal.

“Their weakness was heading the ball and I said, ‘Be prepared because the ball is going to end up right at your feet,’” Scalercio said. “And low and behold, the first play of the game, the ball ended up right at Jesus’ feet and he finished it. I couldn’t have written the script any better.”

It’s not as if the Cowboys (14-12-1) were afraid to go after the Vikings though.

Chino used its speed on the outside to send a few crosses into the middle and it had some close calls with a few deep throw-ins late in the game.

But Valencia’s midfield and defense stayed alert and cleared the ball out every time. That included the most important clearance in the final minute when the ball sat a few feet in front of the goal.

Right after that, Valencia’s Colton Morgan knocked the ball toward a streaking Fernandez, who simply outran Cowboys goalkeeper Juan Cerda.

In all, Chino had seven shots to Valencia’s 12. Seven of those shots were taken by Fernandez.

“We didn’t rest,” the senior said of how Valencia held on. “You can’t rest against this team.”

Valencia will face the winner of Temescal Canyon-Morningside on Wednesday in the second round.

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