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January 13, 2010 > Teams begin to battle for league supremacy

Teams begin to battle for league supremacy

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photos By William Mancebo

After taking a couple weeks during the holiday break work the kinks out of their play, all the high school soccer teams resumed league play in the first full week of 2010.

In Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) play, there was a trio of games played on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

James Logan High School traveled to Newark Memorial High School and managed to double-up the Lady Cougars, 4-2. Logan netted two goals in the first half, taking a 2-0 lead into the locker room. On the other side of halftime, Newark tried to make a comeback but came up short, dropping to 3-7 (2-2 MVAL) on the year. Logan, behind the three-goal effort of Paloma Zermeno, improved to 7-3 (2-1-1 MVAL).

American High School dropped John F. Kennedy High School, 2-0, in the early game held at Tak Fudenna Stadium on the Washington High School campus. American remained unbeaten in league play (2-0-2) and improved to 11-0-2 overall. Kennedy (0-4-1) is still searching for its first MVAL win.

In the night cap at Tak, Washington moved to 3-1-1 in the MVAL with a 5-0 win over Irvington High School. Washington's win moved them to .500 on the season (5-5) while the Lady Vikings dropped to 3-8-1 (0-3-1 MVAL).

Milpitas High School's girls team of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) El Camino division took on Wilcox High School in Santa Clara on Tuesday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the Lady Trojans exploded for two goals in the second, outlasting the home Chargers, 2-1. Milpitas went to 4-4 with the victory.

Two days later, on Thursday, Jan. 7, the Lady Trojans notched another road win, this time a 1-0 win over Cupertino High School. Mari Mendizabal recorded the lone goal while Vanessa Martinez stopped all four shots to record the clean sheet.

Milpitas' boys team played host to Monta Vista High School on Tuesday afternoon and put together another game that coach William Leffler deemed "our best match of the year."

Leffler's Trojans put in five goals en route to their 5-2 victory over the Matadors. Josh Prasad led the way for Milpitas, scoring two goals and assisting on two more. Andrew Shin also netted two, as well as one helper.

"Defense played very good," added Leffler, whose backs were undersized compared to the length of Monta Vista's forwards. "Our midfielders, forwards and outside halfbacks were able to control much of the possession (limiting chances for the Matadors)."

Milpitas' win put them at .500, 4-4-1 on the year, and 1-0 in SCVAL El Camino play. But on Thursday, the Trojans dropped to 4-5-1 when they fell to Gunn High School at home, 2-1.

Girls teams in the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) had a rough go of it on Tuesday. Of the four Hayward-based high schools playing, only Hayward High School was able to go home victorious. Hayward's Lady Farmers were able to blast visiting San Lorenzo High School, 4-0.

Moreau Catholic (4-0 vs. Castro Valley High School), Tennyson (7-0 vs. Redwood Christian High School) and Mt. Eden high schools (3-0 vs. Arroyo High School) were all shutout at home. Mt. Eden's boys team was also shutout at home, 3-0 to Bishop O'Dowd High School.

Two teams that were shutout on Tuesday afternoon - Tennyson and Mt. Eden - met on Thursday, Jan. 7. Tennyson had the home field, but Mt. Eden had all the goals, blowing out the Lady Lancers, 4-0. Meanwhile, Hayward took a step back from Tuesday's big win with a 3-0 loss to Campolindo High School.

A day after Tennyson's girls got handled at home by Redwood Christian, 7-0, the boys team didn't do much better, dropping their home game to Castro Valley, 5-0, on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Also coming up short in HAAL boys play on Wednesday was Moreau Catholic, losing at home, 3-1, to Bishop O'Dowd.

Hayward boys traveled to San Lorenzo on Wednesday and put together just enough offense to go along with its stingy defense, earning a 1-0 road win. And Mt. Eden's boys team bounced back from its 3-0 loss to Bishop O'Dowd the day before to hand a 2-1 defeat to visiting Arroyo.

Newark Memorial boys went to Union City on Wednesday, Jan. 6, with neither team finding the back of the net, ending in a scoreless tie. Both teams went to 3-0-1 in MVAL play. Newark improved to 11-3-2 while Logan went to 6-6-2.

Irvington boys played Washington at Tak on Wednesday night and, behind the flawless goalkeeping of Jeremy Cooper, the Vikings were able to one-up the home Huskies, 1-0. Adalberto Cuellar put home the game winner for Irvington.

Moreau's boys team went to San Leandro High on Thursday afternoon and earned its first point in HAAL play, tying the Pirates, 0-0.

American High School girls soccer kept its perfect season alive with a 2-0 win over Irvington in MVAL play on Thursday, Jan. 7. In other MVAL girls action on Thursday, Washington beat Logan, 1-0, at Tak.

Moreau Catholic's girls team righted the ship of some sorts on Friday, Jan. 8, when they earned a point in their 1-1 tie at home vs. San Leandro. San Leandro's boys team went to Hayward High on Friday and was also part of a tie, theirs being a 0-0 with the Farmers.

All other local games on Friday were by MVAL's boys teams.

Washington went to Union City to take on James Logan and, despite hanging in tough with the home Colts, a late goal by Juan Alvarado pushed Washington's MVAL mark to 1-4-1, while keeping Logan unbeaten, 4-0-1, in league play. Jorge Valdovinos put home Logan's first goal. Washington's only goal came on an own goal.

Meanwhile, there was doubleheader of games at Tak. In the first game, Mission San Jose and Newark Memorial had a shootout, with the Cougars prevailing, 5-3. Edward Ramirez led the way with two goals and an assist, while Kristian Fuentes and Manuel Villagran also scored to help Newark improve to 4-0-1 in MVAL play. Mission San Jose is now 3-2 in the MVAL.

In the night cap of games at Tak, Irvington was able to hold down American, 1-0, keeping the Eagles winless on the year. Irvington improved to 4-7-2 overall, 2-3-0 in the MVAL.

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