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Photo by Ray Robles
The Aztecs' Isaias Sandoval takes the ball downfield in a recent game at Barstow High School. The Aztecs won on Thursday to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Aztecs clip Burroughs

Boys soccer still in postseason hunt

BARSTOW • The Aztecs’ playoff hopes are still alive.

The Barstow boys soccer team was at home in its latest game, hosting Burroughs. On a day where the strong wind turned every ball in the air into an adventure, the Aztecs were able to fight the elements enough to get the one goal they’d need, as they won, 1-0, on Thursday at Barstow High School.

With the regular season winding down, the Aztecs have enough to occupy them, trying to get as many wins down the stretch as possible. On Thursday, not only did they have to battle their opponent, but also Mother Nature. The game started under cloudy skies and stiff winds, and even though the sun eventually broke through, the wind was a constant, repeatedly sweeping what would normally be good kicks out of bounds.

“We battled and stayed with the game plan,” said Aztecs head coach Terri Peralta. “We’re fortunate, it could have gone either way. It was a challenge just getting the ball to the net.”

Barstow played against the wind in the first half, but still managed to get off some shots. Richard Ebel shot just wide, and Edgar Jimenez took a couple of shots, both of which were caught by Burros’ keeper Zach Cordes. It remained a scoreless game at halftime.

In the second half, the Aztecs battled the wind to take a few more shots. Samuel Winston had a shot caught by Cordes, and also shot into the side of the net. Lawrence Espinosa’s shot was caught, and Isaias Sandoval came close, but Cordes was just able to knock the ball away.

The game’s lone goal came at 22 minutes into the second. Just after Barstow’s Cameron Taylor’s head shot off a corner kick went just over the crossbar, the Aztecs got another corner kick. Ebel lined it up and sent the ball into traffic in front, where it bounced around a bit before Manuel Lopez got a foot on it and chipped it over the line.

“We were able to find the net on a set piece off a corner and banged it in,” said coach Peralta. “We were lucky to get it; with these weather conditions today, you never know.”

The Aztecs outshot the Burros, 19-4. Barstow keeper Kevin Cosio kept Burroughs (3-13, 1-9) out of the net.

The win brings the Aztecs to 5-9-1, 5-5-1. There are four games left, against Adelanto, Victor Valley, Granite Hills and Silverado. Barstow needs to win two of them to qualify for playoffs.

“We’re a half-game behind Victor Valley, so we’re right in the hunt,” said coach Peralta. “The league has been so evenly-matched this year, even Burroughs has come a long way since the season started. We definitely have a shot, and hopefully we can do it.”

The next two games are at home, against Victor Valley on Tuesday, and the senior day game against Adelanto next Thursday at 3 p.m.

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