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calexico earns share of first

February 13, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

CALEXICO — Calexico High's boys soccer team pulled into a first-place tie in the Imperial Valley League Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Southwest High.

But the win didn't come without controversy.

With a couple of minutes remaining, Calexico was whistled for an intentional pass-back. The Bulldog goalie picked the ball up when he should have kicked it.

Realizing time was slipping away, several Southwest players tried to get the ball from the goalie, but he held onto the ball.


"He was deliberately delaying the game," Eagles coach Rafael Contreras said.

A Southwest player tried to get the ball from the Calexico keeper when he was hit by another Bulldog player. Both benches rushed onto the field and fans from the stands, many of whom were junior varsity players, also came onto the field.

It took referees several minutes to restore order. When they finally did, they whistled the game over.

"We still had a couple of minutes left," Contreras said. "I don't know what they're going to do. This was an important game."

Important because Southwest entered the contest in first place in the IVL with an 8-0 record, while Calexico was 7-1, the lone loss being to the Eagles earlier in the season.

With just Friday's season-ending ending contests remaining, the two clubs are deadlocked atop the IVL. Calexico takes on Brawley Union High at 5 p.m. and Southwest engages Central Union High for the City Cup at 7 p.m. Both games are part of a doubleheader at Central in El Centro.

"If we finish tied for first, we'll be recognized as league champs," Contreras said, noting Southwest will advance to San Diego Section postseason play in Division III while Calexico will go to the playoffs in Division II.

"I think we're atop the league," Calexico coach Pascual Gonzalez said, disputing Contreras' claim as to which team will be recognized as No. 1 by CIF.

Gonzalez also took exception to the way the end of the game was called.

"Those officials," he said. "That was not an intentional pass-back. No way."

The controversial ending marred an otherwise sterling performance by both teams, especially the Eagles, who played a man down the entire second half and part of the first as well after a player had received a red card. It was one of several fouls called in the game, which was marked by spirited activity both on the field and from in the stands.

Southwest players picked four yellow cards, as did Calexico.

The game's lone score came in the opening two minutes of the contest. Jorge B. Martinez took a long pass from a fullback and flipped it past the Eagles' keeper as he came out of the goal to try to stop Martinez.

Even though they gave up the early goal and played more than half the game a man down, the Eagles still had enough firepower to mount several serious threats.

Southwest looked to tie the game early in the second half when Luis Montes slipped behind the Bulldog defense. He managed to get off a shot on goal that just sailed wide right by less than a foot.

Jorge Renteria also had a solid shot on goal for Southwest. Taking aim from point-blank range, his shot was stopped by the keeper.

The Eagles' Joshua Mora also had a couple of good shots on goal that the keeper denied.

Both keepers played solidly but the best save of the game came from a defender.

Calexico's Francisco Melendrez shot up the middle, drawing the Southwest keeper away from the net. The two stumbled a bit and the Eagles' goalie went down.

Melendrez had an open shot at the goal but Southwest' Wences Partida somehow managed to stop the hard shot.

The ball came back to Melendrez, who took a second shot. Again, Partida deflected the ball.

Martinez had a couple of other solid shots for Calexico.

Imperial 6, Guajome Park 3

GUAJOME PARK — Imperial High's boys soccer team captured the Desert Mountain League championship Tuesday with a 6-3 win over Guajome Park. The Tigers finish league with a 7-1 record.

Christian Miramontes and Aurilio Alonso both scored two goals and Paul Rivas and David Adams each added one.

Imperial (10-2-1 overall) travel to Coronado for a non-league outing at 4:30 today.

Central 2, Brawley 0

Selim Ruiz scored two goals Tuesday as Central Union boys soccer team blanked Brawley Union 2-0.

Central (5-3-1 Imperial Valley League) hosts Southwest High at 7 p.m. Friday while Brawley faces Calexico at 5 p.m. Friday at Central.

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