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Soccer: Calexico claims Copa Del Valle

February 14, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

The Central Union High School boys soccer team entered the eighth annual Copa Del Valle against Calexico High looking to play spoiler in the Bulldogs' championship run.

The Spartans, though, ran into a team focused on its task. And that task was claiming a share of the Imperial Valley League title.

The focus and determination paid off as Calexico ripped Central 4-1.

The Bulldogs avenged a 3-1 loss to the Spartans in last year's Copa Del Valle, which knocked Calexico out of the title race. Tuesday's win also gives the Bulldogs their second championship in three years.

"We have been working very hard for this game and to win league," said Calexico coach Pasqual Gonzalez. "I think we played a really good game and made few mistakes.

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"We wanted to come in and play like Calexico can play, with all our hearts. And we did that," added Gonzalez.

The Bulldogs did so with a team full of sophomores and juniors with no senior experience or leadership.

Leading Calexico against the Spartans was Antonio Cruz, who scored two goals.

Scoring first in the first half for the Bulldogs was Fernando Mora. Cruz scored later in the half to give Calexico a 2-0 advantage heading into the intermission.

Being down 2-0 was a hard thing for Central to overcome, Spartan coach Jim Graham said.

"It's very difficult to come back from a deficit like that. We were almost out of the game at the half," said Graham. "I think that was just a lack of commitment by our guys. We just weren't moving to the ball."

Things got worse for Graham's crew in the second half as Javier Fregoso scored, giving Calexico a 3-0 lead.

About 18 minutes into the second half Rafael Ojeda got the Spartans on the scoreboard.

Cruz answered with his second goal, putting the game out of reach.

"I was really proud of our team's play in the second half," said Graham. "I just think that Calexico was a better team tonight. What it came down to was them having a little more individual talent."

Both teams play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with the Bulldogs (7-1-1 IVL) traveling to Blythe to play Palo Verde and the Spartans (4-4-1 IVL) hosting Holtville.

Brawley 5, Palo Verde 0

BRAWLEY — Arturo Echeverria recorded his sixth shutout of the season as the Brawley Union High boys soccer team downed Palo Verde 5-0 in Imperial Valley League action here Tuesday.

Leading the Wildcats was Raul Cobian with three assists. Brawley's Hector Martinez had two goals and Rito Camacho, Alfredo Campas and Jorge Lopez all added one.

The Wildcats (6-2-1 IVL) will host Southwest at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Southwest 4, Holtville 1

HOLTVILLE — Jorge Renteria scored two goals as the Southwest High boys soccer team defeated Holtville 4-1 here Tuesday.

Also scoring for the Eagles (6-3 IVL) were Armando Ponce and Alberto Merancio.

Girls action

Central 1, Calexico 0 OT

CALEXICO — The Central Union High girls soccer team needed overtime to get past Calexico High 1-0 in Imperial Valley League play here Tuesday.

Scoring for the Spartans was Rachel Montalvo.

The Spartans will host Palo Verde at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Palo Verde 1, Brawley 0

BLYTHE — The Brawley Union High girls soccer team's winless streak reached nine games as it fell 1-0 to Palo Verde in Imperial Valley League action here Tuesday.

Despite giving up a goal, goalkeeper Maria Sarmiento finished with six saves for the Wildcats (0-4-5 overall).

Brawley next plays at Southwest in El Centro at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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