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Prep boys soccer: Valencia’s best season in team history ends at the hands of Temescal Canyon

Posted: February 20, 2013 10:20 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2013 10:20 p.m.

Valencia forward Jesus Fernandez walks off the field after the Vikings lose 2-1 to Temescal Canyon on Wednesday at Valencia High School in a CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoff game.

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The Valencia Vikings boys soccer team was defeated by the Valencia Vikings — or in a more clearer terms, the Temescal Canyon soccer team playing Valencia style soccer.

The Vikings lost 2-1 Wednesday night at Valencia High to the Temescal Canyon Titans in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoffs.

The loss ended the greatest season in Vikings history.

Valencia (17-4-3) won its first Foothill League championship ever, won its first first-round playoff game since 2006 and hadn’t lost since Dec. 29.

“It hurts to lose. We shouldn’t be disappointed,” said Valencia senior forward Jesus Fernandez, emotion nearly pouring out of his eyes. “Great season. It was a great season.”

Valencia surrendered a goal in the game’s 59th minute, to trail 2-1.

Then Temescal Canyon (17-6-2) put the clamps on the Vikings offense, not allowing a shot on goal in the second half, and closing off the Vikings well before they could create an offensive opportunity.

It’s the kind of defense that has been the Vikings’ staple all season long.

And the Titans used it to perfection, said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio.

“That team was our team,” he said of Temescal Canyon’s defense. “They put players behind the ball, were organized. It was difficult getting ball to feet. They were clogging up passing lanes. They beat us at our game.”

Yet very early it was Valencia’s offensive game that was creating tempo.

The Vikings launched an offensive assault at Titans goalkeeper Alec Evers, missing on opportunities including a header off the crossbar from Valencia junior Lukas Scalercio.

The Vikings finally broke through in stoppage time in the first half when Fernandez found the ball through a biting wind right in front of the net and side kicked it to the left and past Evers.

No more than a minute later and roughly 10 ticks before halftime, the Titans moved the ball quickly and found Brandon Chavez for the tying score at 1-1.

“Hats off to our guys for responding,” said Titans head coach Mason Dool. “That was the closing seconds (of the half), and it really helped our confidence.”

Dool noted that Valencia was playing against the wind in the second half and said the elements gave them the early advantage.

Temescal Canyon took over the advantage in the second half, though the wind slowed late.

Yet it was clear that the wind would slightly redirect Viking throw-ins and the ball floated on some of their other kicks.

The Titans’ offensive opportunities came early and they just needed to be successful on one, it turned out.

That came in the 59th minute when Israel Vasquez sent a corner kick that Matt Marquardt headed past Valencia goalkeeper Gino Ferraro for a 2-1 Titans lead.

The sense of urgency was there for the Vikings, but the offensive opportunities weren’t.

Their last gasp came in the game’s 78th minute when Jake Ferry’s throw-in was delivered within feet of the net, but a combination of traffic and Evers were able to knock the ball away.

Yet it was a memorable season for the Vikings — one in which so much was accomplished and in some ways unexpected by outsiders.

Within the program, though, this is what was expected.

“The truth is all good things must come to an end, and nothing will put a damper on this season,” Scalercio said.


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