South’s soccer team rises to the occasion, defeats Valley Center

Nathan+Truong%2C+12%2C+runs+in+to+receive+a+pass.+Truong+attempted+several+shots+but+was+unsuccessful+in+scoring.+Photo+by+A.+Zwetzig

Nathan Truong, 12, runs in to receive a pass. Truong attempted several shots but was unsuccessful in scoring. Photo by A. Zwetzig

BY ALLIE ZWETZIG & DANI HOWARD

As the last three seconds quickly ticked by Valley Center’s center defender, Austin Wolff, frantically shot the ball, landing it 20 yards short of the goal and giving South a 1-0 win.

Gearing up to play their first regional game of 2017, the mentality of the men’s soccer team at South was clear: they were hungry for a win.

“I feel confident that we can pull off a win,” Greg Shelly, assistant coach, said. “Provided that we do what we need to; we need to show up and work hard.”

Typically, every team has a star player; the one whose name sends chills rolling down the spine their opponent and Valley Center is no exception to this.  Most members of South’s team concluded that Max Fields, center defender, and Sam Fields, outside midfielder, had the skill necessary to assist the Hornet’s with a win. However, one of South’s players, Nathan Truong,12, would not agree.

“At this point in our season their strongest player does not matter and I’m not worried about any of their players,” Truong said. “It only depends on how much heart we put into the game and how much effort we show.”

Starting the game was a kick off by Valley Center. Although many shots were taken, the first 19 minutes remained scoreless.

With 20:01 left to go in the first half, Landon Eskridge, 9, sent a ball flying past the Hornet’s goalkeeper, Colby Swift. Cooper Joseph,10, Raul Gerhardus, 9, and Nathan Truong attempted shots on goal, but all three were saved by Swift. A final attempt for a goal was taken by James Evans,10. The ball was kicked wide left, leaving the score 1-0 at the end of first half.

As the referees signaled for the end of halftime, both teams returned the the turf, tensions rising. South was determined to preserve their lead, forcing Valley Center to increase their aggression. Tensions finally started to boil over when S. Fields received a yellow card for a foul against the Mavericks and wrapped up with an altercation between M. Field and Gerhardus.

Joseph took a corner kick, 14:43 left in the game. The ball was launched into the air and headed by Troung toward an assumably  empty net. Reacting to the header, M. Fields lept up and used a bicycle kick to save the Hornet’s from a possible goal.

The scoreboard remained unchanged, with the Mavericks up one goal and only 5:50 before the time ran out. A ball came soaring in from the top to the box, coming from Valley Center’s center midfielder, Trevor Alexander. The shot sailed over the crossbar and required no movement from South’s goalkeeper, Trevor Petty, 12.

Watching the time on the scoreboard quickly pass by, South felt confident in their chance of a win. Two last-minute opportunities were taken by, S. Fields and Wolff. S. Fields released the ball, but the attempt proved unsuccessful as it veered wide ride. Finally, Wolff blew the Hornet’s last chance by chipping the ball short of the goal; the buzzer rang out and South was victorious.

“I think we played great,” said Eskridge. “We could’ve taken more shots and put away more chances but other than that I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

Nathan Truong, 12, runs in to receive a pass. Truong attempted several shots but was unsuccessful in scoring. Photo by A. Zwetzig

Nathan Truong, 12, runs in to receive a pass. Truong attempted several shots but was unsuccessful in scoring. Photo by A. Zwetzig