Fal­cons edge Knight 1-0 in boys soc­cer matchup

Tru­jillo scores lone goal in Palmdale’s vic­tory

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By ALAN HENDRY Val­ley Press Staff Writer

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.

ME­GAN WIDICK/Spe­cial to the Val­ley Press

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.

ME­GAN WIDICK Spe­cial to the Val­ley Press

BALL CON­TROL Knight’s Kenny Oropeza, right, kicks the ball against Palmdale’s Joaquin Al­varado, left, dur­ing Friday’s Golden League game.

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