Jaguars open 2014 with a tie and a loss in soccer
Roberto Saldaña celebrates after scoring the game-tying goal against Escondido. Dan Kidder / Valley Roadrunner
January 15, 2014For a lot of the Valley Center varsity sports teams in action this season, 2013 proved to be as unlucky as knocking a salt shaker over onto a black cat.
But the varsity boys soccer team seemed to have a roster full of lucky rabbit's feet, as the Jaguars went undefeated at 3–0–1 before the holiday break.
Since then the Jags haven't gotten another win and have lost four of their last five on the pitch.
The skid began with a 2–1 loss at El Camino on Dec. 19 and continued through a 3–0 loss against Vista and another 2–1 loss, this time at San Marcos.
In the first league game of 2014, the Jaguars hosted Escondido and looked to be losing after giving up a pair of goals in the first half, but battled back for a 2–2 tie.
Escondido scored in the opening minutes to hold an early lead, then added another goal on a header off of a corner kick with 17:45 left in the first half.
But with just under three minutes on the clock, Valley Center's Austin Reser broke through the defense and into the 18-yard box, where he was hauled down for a penalty kick. Roberto Saldaña took the kick and buried the shot in the top corner to get his team on the board.
Most of the second half proceeded without a goal, though Escondido had a brilliant chance to put the game away, only to see an open header smack into the crossbar and bounce harmlessly away.
It wasn't until stoppage time at the end of the second half that Saldaña struck again, this time on an angled shot from outside the 18-yard box that skipped underneath the diving Cougar goalie to tie the game.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars couldn't hang onto an early lead in the next game and suffered a 2–1 loss to Rancho Buena Vista on Friday.
The Jags jumped out to an early lead on a goal by Reser, but gave up a pair of goals in the second half to take the loss.
The Jags will play Oceanside on Wednesday and Del Norte on Friday. Both games are at 5:15 p.m.