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First win for Aztec boys soccer
Girls also take victory over Saints
BARSTOW • On Tuesday, the Barstow boys soccer team played to its first tie of the season. On Thursday, the Aztecs notched their first win.
Adelanto came to town for the latest match, and though it took a few minutes to get into gear, the Aztecs wound up with a 3-1 win at Barstow High School.
Though it was a nice victory for the home team, the score could have been much higher. The Aztecs outshot the Saints by a 24-8 margin, and many of those were quality shots that barely missed going in the net.
“We’ve been having bad luck on this field. In the last two games we’ve hit the pole at least four times,” said Aztecs assistant coach Phillip Peralta. “It’s frustrating to see the ball get so close and not go over the line. We have pole-itis.”
The Aztecs started taking their shots right away. Lawrence Espinoza shot twice on breakaways, Ivan Nunez shot just wide, and Samuel Winston had his shot caught by the Saints’ keeper. Alejandro Alvarez’s offering banged off the crossbar, and Rafael Rodriguez took a nice shot that was knocked away.
Despite all those attempts, the game was still scoreless at halftime. And though there were no goals, there was some physical play in the first half, resulting in each team helping an injured player off the field, and a Saint getting yellow-carded.
The Aztecs may have been frustrated by seeing none of their many shots go over the line, but that was only reason to try harder in the remaining minutes, according to the coach.
“I told the kids at halftime, we can’t get lackadaisical,” said Peralta. “We need to keep playing hard and put the game away.”
The Aztecs took the words to heart. They came out charging in the second half, with Cameron Taylor laying down a wide shot just seconds in, and Winston shooting just over the crossbar a minute later. At two minutes in, Barstow got on the board, as Taylor laid down a nice pass to Espinoza on the side. Espinoza dribbled in and sent in a hard shot that the goalie got a hand on, but bobbled, and the ball bounced over the line, to make it 1-0 Barstow.
The next tally came 10 minutes later. Alvarez came close a couple of times, putting in a shot that rolled across the front before assisting on the second goal. The Barstow senior hit the side post with a hard shot, with the ball rebounding to Taylor in front, who chipped it in.
Tristian Saenz got the last goal, and also benefitted from a rebound. This time a Luis Ventura shot hit the bar, and Saenz took control of the rebound, kicking it in the net with five minutes left.
With just a couple of minutes to go, the Saints were given a penalty shot after a trip in the box, and converted, for the 3-1 final.
“It was a good win for us,” said Peralta. “It was back-and-forth in the first, but we came out strong in the second and took control.”
Frankie Baca served in-net for the Aztecs, making seven saves.
It was a good day for Barstow boys soccer, as the JV team also won, 7-0.
The match was the last of the year for Barstow, which now takes a holiday break. The team will be back on the field on Jan. 7, when it travels to Silverado. It starts a five-game road trip; the Aztecs won’t play at home again until Jan. 23.
Lady Aztecs 4, Saints 0
ADELANTO • The Barstow girls also played to a win on Thursday, blanking Adelanto, 4-0, on the road.
It was the Lady Aztecs’ game from the start, and they controlled the action throughout, according to head coach Frank Maldonado.
“We totally dominated, the girls played very well,” he said. “It was freezing cold and it slowed things down a little, but we played well and played as a team.”
Lexyss Aviles paced the Barstow offense, scoring two goals, while Hannah Ramirez and Angelique Leatham each scored once. Ramirez also assisted on a goal, with Nayeli Zapata giving two assists.
The Lady Aztecs’ two goalies, Yessica Morales and Jennifer Perez, each spent a half in net. Neither made an official save, though there were a few scoop-ups by the keepers. Barstow got off 19 shots on goal.
The win makes the Lady Aztecs 3-0-3 overall, 2-0-1 in the Desert Sky League.
Barstow will take part in the Oak Hills Tournament this weekend, playing University Prep on Saturday at 9 a.m.