Above: The Warriors who attended the
Winter Homecoming dance, posed for a photo.
overtime to end Serra's season 2/4
It's that time of year, the
West Catholic league playoffs. Each year, the league is ranked 1-8
and the teams square off for a chance to be a co-champion. The top
four teams get to host a game, and this year, the fourth place Warriors
hosted Serra in the first round.
After playing Serra to a
0-0 tie just one week earlier, the Warriors wanted to prove that they
could win the game when they needed to.
The game started off with
Serra attacking. Coming off a last minute loss to the Bells, Serra
was very confident coming in. Early in the game,
Ben Hansen made
several good saves to keep Serra off the scoreboard. As the game went
on, the tide started to turn. In the 19th minute,
Joey Stryker was accosted inside the penalty box. The referee rightly pointed to the
spot, and Jeff Coggan stepped up to slot it home, 1-0 VC.
Easily one of the most
physical games of the year, the Serra Padres repeatedly fouled the
Warriors players. At one point, Austin Keeling was dribbling
toward the sidelines, and three, yes three Serra players slid at the
same time into him. Needless to say the collision sent Keeling
tumbling to the ground...
At halftime, the score
stood 1-0 in favor of Valley Christian.
In the second half, it was
much of the same. Good chances for both sides. In the 52nd
minute, Serra would equalize.
Serra's star attacker Ryan
Angell found some space and hit a laser of a shot from about 24 yards.
The ball soared through the Warrior's defense, and Hansen was screened
on the play. The ball hit his hands and caromed into the side
"If you're Serra, you have
to feel pretty fortunate with that goal. Benny is not going to let
that happen more than once a season,"
Coach Basanese said after the
The teams would continue to
battle, each looking for a chance to take the lead. In the 64th
minute, the Warriors thought they had done it. Keeling hit a
wonderful cross into the box where Stryker was waiting. Joey
brought the ball down with his chest and drilled it home. As the
celebration ensued, the linesman had his flag up, indication offsides.
See the sequence below:
An anonymous fan standing
on the sidelines said this about the call. "I've been watching
soccer for a lot of years, and I was right behind the ref. There
is no way Stryker was offsides, he just wasn't."
Needless to say, the goal
was called back. The game remained 1-1. Moments later,
Coggan had a chance bang off the post. Just after that, a perfect
corner from Keeling was headed just wide by 6'7"
Hansen did more than his
part. After stopping a breakway, Ben saved a ball that seemed
destined for the upper V (see below). Moments after his great save, an Angell
shot from 30 yards clamored off the right post, narrowly missing.
At the end of regulation,
the score was knotted at one.
In the 8th minute of
overtime, the Warriors would finally get a break. Ross Mark
took a free kick and Nettemeyer was assaulted from behind by the
goalkeeper. David was slow to get up on the play, and the linesman
was waving his flag. After a quick conference, the Ref awarded a
free kick 12 yards from goal...but it was indirect. Stryker took
the kick and hit a square pass to a waiting Coggan. Jeff was
clinical, smashing the ball through the wall into the net. 2-1 VC.
Coggan is no stranger to
scoring the game winner against Serra in the WCAL playoffs. His
sophomore year, Jeffrey scored in overtime against Serra to win the WCAL
tournament. Incidentally, today's goal was scored in the same
The game would end 2-1,
earning the Warriors (8-8-4) a second round match up with top seeded
Bellarmine this coming Tuesday. The bells took care of Sacred
Heart Cathedral today, 3-0.
For Serra (6-12-2), the
loss ends their season.
Afterwards, 'keeper Ben
Hansen commented on his second half performance. "I felt bad about
letting that soft goal in. I just wanted to make it up to my
"This team has showed great
character in the face of tons of adversity. I told the kids in the
locker room that it means something to be a Valley Christian soccer
player. Today, they took great pride in that patch on their
jerseys. I'm very proud of these young men today." Basanese
Game Notes: For Jeff
Coggan, the two goals give him 14 on the season (career high) and 34 in
his career. Joey Stryker is now 6th on VC's All-Time career
scoring list with 26 points.
Thanks to John Basanese Sr. for his great action shots from the game.
The Photos from the game can be found
vcsoccer.com man of the match: Jeff Coggan (2g)
Coggan (Penalty) 19’
Coggan (Stryker) 88'
VC Starting Lineup: Hansen,
Williamson, Zvolanek, Favre, Nettemeyer, Field, Keeling, Coggan, Mark,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees