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Lat goals propel Calexico to 3-1 win over Brawley

January 23, 2002|By TOM RONCO

Special to this newspaper

BRAWLEY — Scoring twice late in the second half, the Calexico High Bulldogs girls soccer team defeated Brawley Union High 3-1 in an Imperial Valley League match here Tuesday night.

The victory leaves the Bulldogs (8-1-1, 5-0-1 IVL) in a tie with Central for first place in the IVL while the Wildcats (6-9-0, 2-4-0 IVL) dropped their fourth straight league match.

"Our players played extremely well and they want to win a championship," said Calexico coach Gabriel Lopez. "It's important for us to win every game, especially on the road but also at home."

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"I felt that they dominated us the last 15 minutes," said Brawley coach Jose Flores. "Not just that they scored but they shut us down on offense big time and put it away."

The match started with the Wildcats pushing the attack, which resulted in a penalty kick when Xiomara Fabela was fouled in the penalty box in the 10th minute.

Brawley center mid-fielder Cecila Amezcua took the shot, which was caught by Calexico goalkeeper Vanessa Jimenez.

"Ceci's a real gritty and is coming along and tonight she picked up her game," said Flores who moved Amezcua into the middle when his starting mid-fielder transferred to Yuma last week. "She's not afraid to take the PKs and she doesn't mind the pressure and generally has a great attitude."

The penalty kick seemed to awaken the Bulldogs, who took advantage of a poor clearing effort by the Brawley defense to take a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

"I was sure I could score," said Calexico forward Erendira Avila. "Martha (Rios) passed to me and all I saw was the goal."

Brawley's Araceli Luna on defense and Melissa Carrillo on offense played well yet the Wildcats trailed 1-0 at half-time.

"With Melissa, we usually try to get her out in the open and she usually gets some opportunities to score," said Flores.

"In the first half I played mid-field and the second half I played fullback," said Luna. "I can play wherever they want me to and I just try to play hard."

Carrillo's persistence paid off in the eighth minute of the second half when she tied the score at 1-1.

"Nancy (Sornia) sent me a through ball as I ran past one defender," said Carrillo. "Then I juked the sweeper and the goalie came at me and I chipped it over her head."

Again the Bulldogs responded to the challenge, stepping up the pressure on both sides of the pitch.

Calexico's Stephanie Gonzalez received a yellow card for a hard tackle and came off the field, but she came back with a vengeance, scoring on a direct kick from 35 yards in the 21st minute.

"I wanted to go back in and play and I wanted to score," said Gonzalez. "There's no set play on free kicks so I aimed for the left corner."

The shot caught the Wildcats, who were looking for some type of "play," off guard.

"I surprised the goalkeeper, who's actually my cousin!" added Gonzalez with a smile.

"The kicked the ball hard and ran fast," said Amezcua. "That second goal brought us down a little."

Calexico put away the game with a beautiful shot from on top of the arc outside the penalty box off the foot of Eva Gil, who had a brilliant match at mid-field.

"I was waiting for the pass from Pamela (Aguilar) and I was looking to shoot and the defender didn't come out on me so I shot," said Gil.

Calexico captain Arlene Morales summed up the match.

"We took it a little easy at first and then they tied us and the next goal gave us confidence and we took it from there."

Calexico will play at Central in El Centro at 4:30 p.m. Friday while Brawley hosts Southwest at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Central 1, Southwest 0

Ana Nava scored the lone goal as Central Union shut out its cross-town rival 1-0 in El Centro on Tuesday.

Vanessa Long had the assist. Clarissa Maldonado had the shutout in goal for Central (5-0-1 IVL).

Southwest is now 3-3 in the IVL.

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