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February 17, 2010 > Irvington caps season with comeback win

Irvington caps season with comeback win

Submitted By Paul Dunn
Photos By courtesy of Ed Ohye

On a blustery February afternoon, the Irvington High School Vikings entered Tak Fudenna Memorial stadium to contend its last game of the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) girls JV soccer season against the James Logan High School Colts. After a rough start which saw the Vikings down two at the half, the Vikings steamrolled over the Colts in the second to win 4-2.

Irvington immediately went on the offense from the kickoff, even though they were playing into a stiff wind. The Vikings' midfield dominated the early going and most of the play took place in the Colts' half of the field, although good chances were hard to come by, and the Colts were dangerous on the breakaway.

Twenty minutes into the game, the Colts scored against the run of play on their first corner of the game, and less than 10 minutes later another breakaway ended with a chipped shot over the stranded Vikings keeper to make the game 2-0 in favor of Logan.

It could have been even worse when, five minutes from the half, on yet another breakaway, the Colt center forward was just about to shoot when defender Megan Dunn came from nowhere to block a certain goal and keep the Vikings' halftime deficit at two.

Playing with the wind in the second half, the Vikings stepped up to the challenge and pushed forward to try and get back into the game. Ten minutes into the half, Molly Cory took a clinical corner which the Colts defense could only clear to the edge of the 18-yard box. The ball was met by the advancing Viking stopper Aileen Cheng who calmly shot into the lower left corner of the net to start the Vikings' scoring.

Next the Vikings evened the game when they were awarded a free-kick about 25 yards out; Sarina Utamsing stepped up to take the kick and her shot blasted into the top left corner of the goal beyond the reach of the Colts' goalie.

Picking up steam, the Vikings soon gained another free-kick, this time about 35 yards from goal. Midfielder Rhian Dunn expertly chipped the ball over the defense and Rachel Heng beat the offside trap to run onto the ball and crack it over the diving keeper giving Irvington its first lead of the match, 3-2.

Heng sealed the game moments later as she collected the ball on the left edge of the 18-yard box, beat one defender before placing a shot beyond the keeper into right side of the goal, ending the scoring at 4-2.

It was truly a team effort this season with strong performances by Mary Weeber, Zuleyma Ortiz Flores, Mehartaj Gill and Tiffany Sarchet on the backline; offensively, Erica Ohye, Marissa Lee, Satchi Patel, Nithya Lingampalli, Jocelyn Chiou, Dimple Patel, Katie Moran, Jagpreet Sidhu and Marissa Silva made this team one of the strongest teams Irvington has seen in many seasons; senior Bianca Paonessa also had a great game in left midfield on her last game as an Irvington Viking.

Kudos go to the keepers Zarin Khan and Andrea Hanna who recorded between them nine shutouts and one of the lowest goals against records in MVAL play.

Irvington JV finished its best season in many years with a record of 6-3-3, finishing third in the MVAL final standings.

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