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Vikings knock off Imperial 3-0

December 14, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — When Imperial and Holtville high schools get together in any sport, you can throw out the record books, as just about anything can happen.

Thursday's matchup between the school's soccer teams was no exception. Tied 0-0 at the half, an undefeated Holtville squad ripped off three goals in the second half for a 3-0 victory.

Leading the Vikings' offense was Adan Mejia with two goals.

"I was pretty nervous about this game because we do have a rivalry with them. I think because we are rivals we were all pretty pumped up for this game," said Mejia. "Even though we're not in the same league anymore, this game still means a lot to everyone."

Because Holtville left the Desert Mountain League to join the Imperial Valley League this year and Imperial remained in the DML, Thursday's match was a non-league game.

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The teams met last week in Holtville with the Vikings shredding the Tigers 6-1. Because of last week's win, Mejia said he felt good about his team's chances in enemy territory.

"I knew we could beat them again. We beat them last time and I felt we could do the same thing," said Mejia, who scored two goals against Imperial last week. "I think I played a pretty good game, but all the credit has to go to the entire team. This was a total team effort."

After Erick Felix scored 4 minutes, 41 seconds into the second half off an assist from Jose Arroyo, Mejia scored nine seconds later. Sergio Garcia got the assist on the second goal.

Up 2-0 with five minutes remaining, Mejia added his second goal off a Tiger turnover.

Said Viking coach Juan Arroyo: "They played us pretty good in the first half, but most of our games we've played this year we've been a second-half team. It just seems to take us the first half to get warmed up before we get things going in the second. Overall, though, I think we did all right. I was pretty happy with this win."

The game wasn't without controversy. Midway through the second half, Imperial's Aurelio Alonso stole the ball. Alonso passed the ball from a Holtville player and proceeded forward on a give and go. The Holtville player ran toward Alonso and did a roundhouse kick into Alonso's shins, which resulted in a yellow card.

Imperial coach Wolfgang Horner felt the penalty should have been more severe.

"That play should've resulted in a red card. When games are allowed to progress at that level of aggressiveness, other factors start to come into play. Then you start talking intimidation, injury. The other athletes on the field will start playing to that level of aggressiveness," said Horner.

Both teams next play Tuesday with Holtville (5-0) hosting Desert Christian at 6 p.m. and Imperial (1-2) playing at Palo Verde in Blythe at 4:30 p.m.

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