Falcons edge Knight 1-0 in boys soccer matchup
Trujillo scores lone goal in Palmdale’s victory
PALMDALE — Both the Palmdale and Knight boys soccer teams were able to play a fast-paced match on Friday at Knight High, but only one team was able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity.
In a frenetic game, both teams had several scoring chances, but a first-half goal by the Falcons stood as the only goal in the match.
Palmdale held on for a 1-0 Golden League victory at Knight High.
“I think our energy played a big factor in the game,” Palmdale coach Christian Hernandez said. “I tell my boys all the time ‘You bring energy to this game, your physicality, you can be in any game in this league.’”
Palmdale (6-2-2, 4-2-2) and Knight (8-5-3, 3-3-2) entered the match tied for fourth place in league, as the top five teams in the league are separated by just a few games.
“I feel like it was a great team win,” Palmdale junior goalkeeper Jesse Ramos said. “Everybody came together and came out with a good win.”
The Falcons posted their fourth shutout in league play.
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the first 27 minutes, but the Falcons found the back of the net in the 29th minute.
Palmdale junior Brian Trujillo scored on an assist from sophomore Edgar Rios.
“Brian is, I would say, in the running to be one of the best players in this Valley,” Hernandez said. “He’s only a junior and I think, if I’m not mistaken, he’s scored on every team in our league so far. It’s a kid that’s big time and he’s only going to get better with time.”
Trujillo had a free kick from 20 yards out sail high in the 38th minute. He scored from near the Palmdale sideline from a little closer.
“I know I had the shot and I just took a risk for it and it
turned out to a beautiful goal,” Trujillo said. “It was intense. You’ve just got to keep going. You’ve got to keep your energy going. Keep pushing yourself. You’ve got to keep working hard. No matter what the score is. We’re down. We’re up. We’ve got to keep working hard, no matter how it is.
“The key is keep working hard. We didn’t work hard at all that last game. We took that into our heads and we knew coming into this game we had to work hard.”
The Falcons were motivated to work hard and keep their energy going by a frustrating 7-2 loss at first-place Quart Hill on Wednesday.
“We played amazing today,” Trujillo said. “We definitely came back from a tough loss on Wednesday. I know it was not just me, but it was up to my teammates as well. Without them I couldn’t have done anything. It’s not just me. It’s my whole team. Without them I’m nothing.”
Ramos said the Falcons needed to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss.
“I feel like we needed this win,” Ramos said. “We needed to come back strong, to show who we really are. Yes, it was a bad loss, but we’re showing our true strengths as a team and coming together.”
Hernandez said he was pleased how his team was able to respond after the loss to Quartz Hill, especially against a tough opponent in Knight.
“As a coach, this is what you love to see, a bounce-back win like this and not to a mediocre team. You’re talking about a top three team in our league every year,” Hernandez said. “To come on the road and get this win, that’s big time. Two road games this week and to get this victory today is definitely a bounce back and a good turnaround this game.”
Ramos preserved the victory with the biggest save of the game in the 50th minute on a penalty kick by Knight senior Jesse Aguayo, after the
Falcons were called for a hand ball in the box.
“I just stayed confident and use the skills that I have and don’t let the pressure get to me,” Ramos said.
Ramos dove to his right to make the save and hold onto the ball.
“Jesse, that was a big-time save,” Hernandez said. “That’s a keeper that needed that confidence and I think in making that save, his confidence is back and he’s only going to get better from here.
“This is just what a team sport is. If everybody is on the same page, you saw it today, the hard work was contagious from our forwards all the way to our last man in our goalkeeper. It was hard work throughout the whole game. We came out on top. We had opportunities as well, but as a coach you cannot be disappointed in how my boys came out today.”
Knight senior goalie Francisco Bravo made a big save in the 53rd minute, leaping to swat away a shot by Palmdale sophomore Jorge Solorzano. Bravo had another save on a subsequent corner kick by the Falcons.
Palmdale senior defender Jonathan Vasquez made a save in the 60th minute, blocking a shot on an open net after Ramos challenged a shot when two Knight players had a breakaway.
Ramos said there is pressure of playing in a tightly contested league race. All four Golden League games were decided by one goal on Friday.
“I feel like, yes there is pressure, but we just have to take it one game at a time,” Ramos said. “We can’t focus on winning league or anything. Everything is right now in the moment and game by game we’ll try to come out on top.”
Knight senior Kenny Oropeza saved a Palmdale shot in the 63rd minute.
Palmdale will host Littlerock on Wednesday, when Knight plays at Lancaster with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
GOOOOAAALLL! — Palmdale’s Brian Trujillo, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against Knight on Friday, while teammate Edgar Rios, right, who earned the assist, yells along with him. The Falcons won 1-0.
BALL CONTROL Knight’s Kenny Oropeza, right, kicks the ball against Palmdale’s Joaquin Alvarado, left, during Friday’s Golden League game.