Jaguars' hot start continues with two more soccer wins
Thomas Stehly (3), Jason Blasius (2) and Paul Schaner (5) set up the defense on an Elsinore free kick. Photo by Dan Kidder / Valley Roadrunner
December 18, 2013Every sport is filled with nuances impossible to count, each one contributing in immeasurable ways to a team's success on the field.
But when you add up all these nuances, the bottom line is that you still have to score more points than the other team.
Valley Center's varsity boys soccer team is doing a marvelous job of managing the X's and O's of the game and parlaying that extra work into success on the field with a pair of shutout wins in the last two games.
"The boys are improving each game," says head coach Dale Blasius. "We've been using game film, and the boys are responding well to their positioning and the type of system we're trying this year. All of them are hustling and eager to get as much playing time as possible. Our juniors and seniors have been showing some good leadership, and our sophomores and freshmen are working very hard."
The unity and cohesion of the team has the Jaguars on track for an exciting season, if the first four games are any indication. The Jags have given up only one goal, and that came on an unfortunate goalkeeper miscue in the first game of the season. Since then, Gavin Marcon hasn't allowed anything to get past him, posting three consecutive shutouts as the anchor of a stellar defense.
The Jaguars hosted Mar Vista last Tuesday night and scored three goals in the second half to seal a 4–0 win.
Anthony Rizo (14) tries to get past his defender for a ball in the air. Photo by Dan Kidder / Valley Roadrunner
Austin Reser, Cristobal Collazo, Rod Rodriguez and Jake Newman all scored for the Jags in the big win.
Then on Thursday, the Jags hosted Elsinore and made the right adjustments after a scoreless first half to take a 2–0 win.
The teams both had a handful of chances in the first half, but neither side could break through on the score sheet.
Coach Blasius and his team captains tweaked the offensive plan with some minor changes, and the payoff was almost instantaneous.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Edwin Sanchez let fly with a long shot that skipped just wide of the net. A minute later, the Jags were on the board when Agustin Medellin put home a rebound after a corner kick to put his team up 1–0.
Just three minutes after that, Rodriguez sliced through the defense along the right sideline and cut in for a shot that he hammered past the keeper to give his team a two-goal advantage that proved to be more than enough in another shutout.
"The through balls were not working, so we tried to attack the corners more and tried to work our way through the middle with the ball," Coach Blasius said. "I tell these guys all the time that if you can hustle, you can make up for a bad pass here and there. In the second half, we had great hustle.
"We don't have any superstars," he added. "It's a great group of guys who all play hard every game. And every game is going to get harder from here on out, so we'll need to play with discipline. But we're getting better and better every game."
Augustin Medellin (4) celebrates after scoring against Elsinore. Photo by Dan Kidder / Valley Roadrunner
The Jaguars play again today at El Camino before a three-week break for the holidays. They play again on Jan. 8 at home against Escondido at 5:15 p.m.