BARSTOW - For as many times as goal posts were the enemy of the Silverado soccer team, the posts came away with one all-important save in the final minutes for the Hawks against Barstow.

Barstow's Antonio Alonso rung a penalty kick off the crossbar with 10 minutes left in the game. The ball bounced straight down, almost hitting goalkeeper Henry Melendez, but avoided the goal line.

Silverado - and its crossbar - held off Barstow's comeback attempt to preserve a 2-1 win at Langworthy Field on Thursday.

Barstow (4-5-2; 2-1 Desert Sky League) earned the kick after Philip Peralta received a long pass near the left sideline and began streaking toward the goal when he was halted by a collision with a Silverado player. Alonso, who scored on a penalty kick to tie Hesperia earlier in the season, was picked for the kick.

"I was nervous," Alonso said. "Everybody was pressuring me. I tried to kick it hard, but it went up."

The Hawks could have rendered Alonso's penalty kick meaningless long before. Silverado led Barstow in shots 20-18. Shots went everywhere but into the twine for the first 30 minutes of the game. Silverado charged through Barstow's defense early and earned several odd-man rushes or breakaways. Eddie Andrade may have had the best opportunity when he unloaded a shot that soared over the net from 10 feet out.

"If we score those it's a whole different game," Silverado coach Jim Gleason said. "If they are down four, five nothing at halftime it's pretty hard to stay in the game.
"We've got to start executing. If we can finish any of those early on, it's a much more difficult game for Barstow. If we can't finish we can't win."

The win kept Silverado (10-2-3) undefeated in the DSL at 2-0, the last team with a perfect record.

Barstow goalkeeper Eric Penaloza spent most the of the first half diving in every direction to keep Silverado off the board. Penaloza came up with 17 saves for the Aztecs while his Silverado counterpart only had to stop nine shots.

The Hawks finally got a break when Jose Velasco placed a soft shot in the right corner of the net. Silverado added to that when Eddie Andrade scored what would become the game winner with less than five minutes into the second half.

Despite falling behind 2-0, the Aztecs became re-energized when Richard Gonzalez kicked in a loose ball in front of Silverado's net to make it 2-1 at the 15 minute mark of the second half.

"They are a good team," Barstow coach Jose Tapia said. "They are physical and they are fast. I think it took us a half to get adjusted with their style of play."

While Silverado controlled play for most of the game, the Aztecs generated several scoring opportunities late in the game. Even after Alonso's penalty kick failed, Barstow continued to threaten around the net until the final seconds of play.

Although the comeback attempt fell short, Barstow coach Jose Tapia said he was proud of the Aztecs effort in the second.

"They came back second half just firing. We proved something today. After the win against Granite, I think it's going to be against us and (Silverado). We'll see if we can get them next time around."