Montgomery, Maria Carrillo boys play to draw
In a North Bay League Oak mid-season battle on Thursday night, the men’s soccer teams of Montgomery and Maria Carrillo played an even game that ended in a 1-1 draw.
With the result, the Vikings remain tied for first place with Piner atop the NBL-Oak.
Montgomery (7-3-2, 2-1-1) was relatively lucky to draw as host Pumas (4-1-6, 1-0-3) had two prime chances in the last two minutes of the match. . A Pumas shot hit the crossbar and on the last play of the match, a Carrillo shot on goal was saved by Montgomery goalkeeper Miles Bergum.
“Miles had a phenomenal game. He did so much to keep us in the game,” Montgomery coach Jon Schwan said. “We didn’t perform at all in that moment (the last two minutes); it is very frustrating.
Maria Carrillo took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute after Adrian Gonzalez slid a ball deflected by Bergum into traffic for a goal from 4 yards out.
“We had a little misunderstanding on defense on this game,” Schwan said. “It was an opportunistic goal from Maria Carrillo and a mistake on our part. We have to play a better defense on that.
In the 60th minute, Montgomery scored to tie the game 1-1. Ryan Paradise got an assist with a 25-yard pass to Xavius Lanford, who connected on a 15-yard goal with a low shot that hugged the ground and entered near the far post.
“Xavius was causing a lot of problems for our defense. He’s a very talented player,” Pumas coach Trevor Brady said. “He’s very quick and he goes all over the pitch.”
The penalty shootout was nearly even and both teams had chances for the game-winner, in particular Maica Rivas’ shot from Maria Carrillo which hit the crossbar with two minutes remaining.
“We had a lot of attacks and Maria had a lot. Their centre-backs did just enough to smother us,” Schwan said. “Hats off to Trevor and Maria; they had a plan. They played with a collective spirit that you can feel.
Schwan and Brady said the NBL-Oak is extremely competitive this year.
“There’s a lot of parity in the league, it’s exciting,” Brady said. “We have a lot of very talented teams in the league. Every game is going to be close in the NBL-Oak.
Schwan added: “The league has extreme parity; every match is a dogfight. We just want to try and defend our NBL title.
Piner 2, Windsor 0
The Prospectors (5-3-2, 2-1-1) remain tied for first place in the NBL-Oak with Montgomery after Thursday’s victory over the visiting Jaguars (3-4-4, 1-2- 1).
The game was scoreless until the 60th minute, when Piner’s Alexis Alcantar fired a 25-yard flare past Windsor keeper Fabian Nava.
Ten minutes later, the Prospectors added an insurance goal from Anthony Zaragoza. Both goals came on counterattacks against Windsor’s turnovers.
“We had poor control over both of their goals,” Windsor coach Andres Flores said. “Piner was the strongest team. They got more shots on goal. They had more chances and they scored on two of them.
Piner coach Sean Sutherland said his team followed the game plan by directing the ball down the flanks.
“We worked hard in the corners and that gave us a lot of room to work in midfield,” Sutherland said. “We put a lot of pressure on Windsor towards the end of the first half.”
Sutherland praised Nava for keeping Windsor in the game until late.
“The Windsor keeper played a fantastic game,” Sutherland said. “He made four or five key saves.”
Windsor had three best scoring chances in the game but couldn’t convert any of them. The first chance was a shot in the 10th minute which hit the elbow of the crossbar/post. The second chance was a breakaway that ended in a shot away from the far post, and the third chance was a shot saved by Piner’s keeper.
“We didn’t convert our chances,” Flores said. “It was going to be a tough game for us to win. Piner is a solid team, that’s for sure.
Sutherland said his bench played a key role in the win, keeping Piner top of the standings.
“I’m very happy with the result,” Sutherland said. “In the NBL-Oak, you have to win at home. Home ties are unacceptable because the league is so competitive.
Rancho Cotate 1, Cardinal Newman 0
The host Cougars (3-7-2, 1-2-1) played with heavy hearts on Thursday, with one of their best players missing due to a medical emergency that required hospitalization an hour before the start Match.
Cougars coach Nick Rogers wouldn’t release the player’s name for privacy reasons, but said he was one of his team leaders and one of the best league players.
Both teams took a knee for a moment of silence before the game out of respect for the missing Cougars player.
“I want to congratulate the Cardinal Newman coaching staff,” Rogers said of the Cardinals joining in Rancho’s player tribute. “There was a lot of respect between the two teams.”
As for the game, the only goal came in the 65th minute, when Cougar rookie Luis Angel Lopez kicked a ball into heavy traffic from the top of the penalty area from a corner kick. It was Lopez’s first goal in high school.
“Lopez was in the right place at the right time,” Rogers said. “He had the courage to shoot.”
With the score 0-0 in the 60th minute, Cardinal Newman (5-3-3, 1-2-1) completed a one-on-one shot attempt which was stopped by the Rancho Cotate goalkeeper, Jose Abel Calvillo.
“The Rancho Cotate keeper made a great save. He got really big and was able to block the shot,” Cardinals coach Ryan Corriveau said. “There were chances that we weren’t finished.”
Even so, Cardinal Newman held on to the end in a losing cause.
“Credit to our boys fighting back. We created score changes,” Corriveau said. “It was a fair game. It was a fairly balanced game from front to back.
Corriveau said Jude Stone and Nacio Gutierrez had great midfield games for the Cardinals.
“Cardinal Newman gave us a tough game,” Rogers said. “We were playing for a greater cause. Our work rate and our heart won us this game.