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February 18, 2009 > Friday the 13th proves lucky for Newark Memorial

Friday the 13th proves lucky for Newark Memorial

By Tony Cogley

You didn't even have to be a superstitious person to expect something strange to happen when Newark Memorial took on Washington High for the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) Championship last Friday. Even if you looked past the pouring rain or the fact that it was Friday the 13th, you couldn't avoid getting the chills when the stadium lights went out with about thirty minutes before the matched got underway.

Maybe, despite the fact that Washington had already lost twice in the season to Newark, 3-1, they might be able to use the elements to their advantage and pull out a victory.

From the opening minute of play, Newark looked the more composed team as they took the first possession straight to Washington's net for a saved shot on the feet of Alfredo Navarro, who throughout the game, seemed unaffected by the swamp-like field conditions, and assisted on the game's first goal. A shot by Carlos Contreras found the back of the net in the ninth minute and all signs pointed to an easy Newark win.

Give the Huskies credit, they had done their homework on the Cougars and pressed all 10 players forward and, at times, seemed too much for Newark's midfield. A goal late in the first half by Washington's Carlos Flores sent the match even 1-1 at halftime.

Newark would not be denied their rightful place atop the MVAL for the year, and with a North Coast Section (NCS) seed on the line, picked things up and scored two more goals in the second half from Kristian Fuentes and Tony Mendez, repeating for a third time this season, a 3-1 victory over Washington.

Newark will now head to the NCS 3A Championship as a #5 seed, taking on College Park, the winners of the Diablo Valley Athletic League on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at NMHS at 7 p.m.

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