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Beginning is end for Grizzlies

Golden Valley allows three early goals

Posted: February 19, 2009 1:33 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Golden Valley boys soccer gave up three goals in the first 15 minutes of play and couldn’t recover in a 3-2 loss to Lompoc Wednesday in a CIF-Southern Section Division III wild-card game.

The first goal was scored due to an errant clearance by the Grizzlies, and the next two came on successive breakaways.

The poor start left Golden Valley head coach Phil Lopez searching for answers.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said. “It could be anything from a three-hour bus ride to simply not using your head. We came out flat, and once we settled down we played like we’re capable of playing.”

The Grizzlies (9-10-5) notched their first goal early in the second half as Andy Ruiz found Eduardo Barragan to cut into the lead.

Tim Stanley drove home a penalty kick later in the second half, but Golden Valley couldn’t find the equalizer.

After playing on artificial turf surfaces during the Foothill League schedule, the Grizzlies had to adjust to a longer grass field at Lompoc High School. On Lompoc’s first goal, the grass slowed Golden Valley’s clearance and the Braves pounced on the loose ball.

“The ball travels a little bit faster on Astroturf and we had to compensate for that,” Lopez said.
Stanley is one of seven seniors that will move on from the program, along with Bino Horne, James Schlegel,

Henry Corado, Ricky Cortez, John Tapia and Jared Tally.

“They’re a wonderful group,” Lopez said. “They were the leaders of the team and set an example for kids in the future to follow.”

The loss caps a disappointing finish for Golden Valley, which earned nine points during the first half of the Foothill League schedule, but fell from second place to fourth in the final week.

On Wednesday, it was the start and not the finish that doomed the Grizzlies, but Lopez is happy with his team’s resilience.

“I’m really proud of the way we came back today,” he said. “We really turned things around in the second half. Unfortunately the clock ran out on us.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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