Keeling's heroics lift Warriors
in first WCAL game 12/08
Nobody said that life in California's
toughest soccer league would be easy. The Valley Christian Warriors
faced St. Francis in the opener of WCAL league play, on the road.
Getting results on the road is vital if a team is to compete in this
As could be expected, this one didn't come
without a fight. The St. Francis lancers came out gun's blarin'!
"The way they started that game, I was
nervous. I knew if we could weather the initial storm, we could
begin to play our game...I just didn't realize the storm would last that
long," coach Basanese
The weather was perfect, and the pristine
new field turf field was on display. The atmosphere was perfect
for the rivalry that spans multiple sports between the two schools.
In the 3rd minute of the match,
Ben Hansen denied a one on one
opportunity. The St. Francis player got behind the VC defense and
hit a laser destined for the net. That is if one of the CCS's top
net minders wasn't in goal. Hansen sprawled out to make the save,
and then smothered the rebound.
"I can't believe he saved that, I thought
for sure we were down 1-0 when I saw that happening!" Senior
Austin Keeling said after the game.
The Warriors would eventually get their
footing, however. A few chances were saved by the St. Francis
'keeper, and a few missed the goal. Overall, a very poor first
half for the Warriors.
After a quick intermission, the Warriors
came out much stronger in the second half. Several chances were
denied and this game looked destined to be another 0-0 tie, everyone's
In the 74th minute,
Joey Stryker took a ball in the center of
the field, about 30 yards out. After beating a defender he lifted
a picture perfect ball over the defense to Keeling who was making a back
door run. The ball freed Austin behind the defense. He
settled the ball and fired near post. There was nothing the St.
Francis 'keeper could do. The Warriors were on the board, 1-0 Valley.
In the final minutes,
Jeff Coggan, Stryker, and
Nathan Goldsmith were able to control
the ball in the St. Francis end securing the win.
For VC this is their 3rd win on the young
season. The defense came up with another clean sheet, anchored by great
play by Seaman,
Ross Mark. Ben Hansen picked up his
26th career shutout in a very strong performance.
The Warriors will now focus on a very
strong St. Ignatius side that beat Serra 2-1 today. The game is at
Valley Christian this Saturday at 11am.
vcsoccer.com man of the match: Austin Keeling (1g)
Keeling (Stryker) '74
VC Starting Lineup: Hansen,
Zvolanek, Seaman, Mark, Nettemeyer, Field, Keeling, Coggan, Osuna,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63