GALT SHUTS OUT FRANKLIN

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Bush NEWS-SEN­TINEL SPORTS WRITER

GALT — Gil­berto Lopez played like an MVP on Fri­day.

The Galt High boys soc­cer player, plus team­mate Da­vian Mar­quez, spread the scor­ing wealth for a 4-0 win over a Di­vi­sion I squad in Franklin of Elk Grove at Walker Park.

In seven games this sea­son, Galt (6-0-1) has outscored its op­po­nents 22-3. Two of the op­po­nents’ goals came from River City of West Sacra­mento, when the War­riors posted a 4-2 win over the Raiders at the Davis Tour­na­ment on Dec. 1.

“We’re not the tallest or the big­gest team out there,” said Galt co-head coach Dane White, who is shar­ing the coach­ing du­ties with Al­fredo Ren­te­ria. “We played Pleas­ant Grove (on Wed­nes­day); they are big and strong and fast. We saw that when we tried to drive the ball.”

Mar­quez, a for­ward, got the War­riors on the score­board in the eighth minute of the game. Rac­ing to the soc­cer ball with Franklin’s Em­ron Gardizi, as they ran to­ward the Wild­cats’ goal. Mar­quez past Gardizi to get con­trol of the ball near the left side of the box, and booted the ball to the op­po­site side for a 1-0 lead.

Four min­utes later, Lopez, a three-year starter at for­ward and mid­fielder, in­creased the War­riors’ lead to 2-0. Team­mate Gon­zalo Gar­cia, tak­ing the ball after a throw-in, found an open Lopez at mid­field. Stop­ping just short at the cen­ter of the box, Lopez took the shot that landed into the cen­ter of the net.

The War­riors’ next goal came from ju­nior for­ward Juan Cruz. In the 28th minute, War­rior mid­fielder Ramiro Ramirez passed the ball to Cruz, who was near the cen­ter of the Wild­cats’ box. Then Cruz punched the ball into the left side of the net for a 3-0 lead.

Lopez’s sec­ond goal of the game was an er­ror that he had sec­onds to cor­rect in the 56th minute, which led to the fi­nal score.

After miss­ing a shot on goal five min­utes ear­lier, Lopez was able to draw the Franklin goalie out­side the box. As Lopez kicked the ball, the goalie dived for the ball and was able to de­flect it. As the goalie laid down on the ground, Lopez hus­tled to the front of the ball, which went into the cen­ter of the net for the goal.

“He has in­cred­i­ble tal­ent,” said White of Lopez, who did not make all-SVC last win­ter after mak­ing first team his sopho­more year. “That kid sees the game beau­ti­fully. Now I think he un­der­stands his role in the team’s chem­istry, and how he can en­sure that our ball work play sets him up and the rest of the team up. He’s re­ally lead­ing now ver­sus just be­ing a suc­cess­ful player.”

Ramirez, along with War­rior team­mate in ju­nior mid­fielder Fran­cisco Al­varez and Cruz, had shots on goal in the sec­ond half.

White feels this year’s team, which has 10 se­niors back, is chop­ping down hard to match and ex­ceed last win­ter’s suc­cess. Galt won the Sierra Val­ley Con­fer­ence and Sac-Joaquin Sec­tion Di­vi­sion IV ti­tles, and also earned a CIF NorCal play­off game.

“We’re see­ing a lot of guys com­ing to the ta­ble now,” said White of this year’s War­rior squad. “This team, I’d say, is re­ally growth-hun­gry; they want to con­tinue to streak that we’ve been on these last few years. It’s been re­ally cool to watch these new se­niors raise to the oc­ca­sion.”

Last win­ter, Mar­quez, who made all-Sierra Val­ley Con­fer­ence last win­ter, led the War­riors in scor­ing with 25 goals. Lopez was third on the team with 20 goals.

Galt con­tin­ues its pre­sae­son sched­ule next week against big­ger schools; Shel­don of Sacra­mento that is Di­vi­sion I and Chavez of Stock­ton, which is D-II.

The War­riors play Tokay in an area non-league meet­ing on Dec. 19.

MIKE BUSH/NEWS-SEN­TINEL

Galt soc­cer play­ers Da­vian Mar­quez (10) and Alexis Gon­za­lez (11) race to­ward the ball with Franklin's Grif­fin Schan­ning (2) and Raul Cam­pus (22) dur­ing a non-league game at Walker Park on Fri­day.

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