Forest Lake Christian tops Delta, takes lead in CVCL
The Forest Lake Christian boys soccer team clinched a playoff spot and took one giant step closer to locking up its second straight Central Valley California League title by beating Delta, 2-1, Tuesday.
The Falcons, playing on their home pitch, fell behind early in the match when Delta’s Jose Rodarte punched in a goal off a rebound. Rodarte corralled a ball in the 19th minute that ricocheted off FLC goalie Noah Hussain and punched it in for the early lead. That would be Hussain’s only blemish on the afternoon as the first year goalie saved every ball that came his way after that and finished with 11 saves for the game.
“Brand new to goalie,” FLC head coach Steve Koch said of Hussain. “He just came out this year, and he’s an athletic guy and it just seemed like his spot. Noah did a really great job today.”
The Falcons would get on the board in the second half when a Kyle Soria throw in at the 42 minute mark skimmed the head of Daniel Blackburn and wound up on the foot of Hayden Piner. Piner then slotted the ball in for the equalizer.
Forest Lake Christian would take the lead in the 65th minute on an incredible cross by Daniel Marriot and impressive finish by Soria.
Marriot shot a cross from the left corner that soared over the mass of players in the center of the goalie box and found Soria, who had to dive to the ground to net the header.
“They had a lot of empty spaces, Marriot hit a good ball and I said to myself ‘I’m going to get a head on it no matter what,’ and it went in the goal,” Soria said. “I had to get pretty low to the ground, but whatever it takes.”
The Falcons continued their stellar defense and after a few Delta attack attempts fell short the game concluded.
Leading the defense for FLC was Garrett Reader, Garrett Jones, Blake John and Drew Seitz.
“Its a huge boost,” Soria said. “We’ve got a couple big wins now and we play Victory (Christian) on Friday for homecoming. That should be exciting. It’s looking good right now.”
Delta (9-3-1, 4-2-1 CVCL) came into the match as the league leader, but with the Falcons’ come-from behind win, they now have the inside track to the league title. The Falcons (8-6-2, 4-1-2 CVCL) have two games left on their regular season schedule and if they win both they take home the CVCL banner once again. Victory Christian (9-9-2, 3-2-2 CVCL) is next up for FLC.
“We have to play Victory and we have to beat them,” said Koch. “It’s a big one. It’ our homecoming, we should have lots of fans and it will be exciting.”
The Falcons are 0-1-1 this season against Victory Christian, but have a chance to even the season series and clinch the CVCL with a win Friday.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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