Car­di­nals, Pan­thers draw at tour­ney

Lindsay, Porter­ville and Gran­ite Hills are top group teams

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - By NAYIRAH DOSU [email protected]­villerercorder.com

The last time Porter­ville and Lindsay High School boys soc­cer teams faced off, the Car­di­nals came out on top, twice.

But in their first meet­ing of the Lindsay An­nual Cup, last year’s fi­nal­ist couldn’t get the bet­ter of each other and the two fin­ished with a 1-1 draw Fri­day at Frank Skadan Sta­dium in Lindsay.

Both Lindsay (3-3-1) and Porter­ville (3-1-1) are tied for first in the Group A stand­ings af­ter two games, how­ever goal dif­fer­en­tials puts the Car­di­nals in the lead. The tour­na­ment con­tin­ues to­day with both teams play­ing at 8:30 a.m. On the main field, Lindsay takes on Sum­mit Char­ter (2-3) while Porter­ville plays Shafter (2-5-2) on the ad­ja­cent field.

Play­ing in the fi­nal game for Fri­day, the Pan­thers came out stronger to start the game but mid­way through the first 30-minute half, the Car­di­nals re­gained control and LHS se­nior Moises Be­ten­court scored the first goal with less than five min­utes left in the half.

But the lead was short lived af­ter Porter­ville’s An­dre Es­carzaga fin­ished off a team­mate’s re­bound for the equalizer.

“That was the best soc­cer we played all year for sure,” LHS head coach Tony Godoy said. “And I was telling them, it’s not like we played re­ally well against a bad team. That’s a re­ally good team, I guar­an­tee they make a deep run in the play­offs. That’s a re­ally good team. They’re a well-coached team.” The sec­ond half was phys­i­cal and in­tense for both teams with Lindsay cre­at­ing slightly more chances than Porter­ville.

“This sec­ond game, we knew what it was go­ing to be,” PHS head coach Ed­die Gu­tier­rez said. “Lindsay, their style of play they knock the ball around re­ally well, they keep it. It got a lit­tle bit phys­i­cal there to­wards the end but that’s how these games are. I thought we did well. We ran hard and pres­sured hard. We cre­ated a few chances, they did too. It was just a good game, what I ex­pected from Lindsay. They play well.”

Lindsay’s de­fense was ma­jor in the sec­ond half and Godoy found the team’s ag­gres­sion to be a game changer. “You saw some hard tack­les

and that’s what we’re get­ting at, be­cause that’s a big mo­men­tum shifter,” Godoy said. “Es­pe­cially for the crowd, our bench and even morally, just know­ing you slid on some­one hard. It’s a game changer. So I’m try­ing to preach that a lot more be­cause I don’t want us to be soft.”

For the Car­di­nals, Be­ten­court fin­ished with four goals on the day af­ter scor­ing a hat-trick against Shafter in a 6-1 win ear­lier in the morn­ing. Sopho­more Emil­iano Corona also scored three goals against the Gen­er­als.

In their first game, Porter­ville shut out Sum­mit Char­ter 3-0. Al­dair Robles, Ro­ge­lio Bedolla and An­drew Mil­lan scored for Porter­ville.

“We made a lot of changes to our lineup to try and stay fresh for this game be­cause we knew Lindsay’s al­ways tough,” Gu­tier­rez said about the first game. “We did OK but it’s hard when you have a bunch of guys that haven’t played that much to­gether. We had no chem­istry so sec­ond half we had to put the starters back in. It was good. Sum­mit, they’ve come a long ways. They’ve im­proved a lot. From the first time I saw them play to this time, they’ve im­proved a lot. So hats off to them.”

Griz­zlies bat­tling for No. 2 spot in Group C

Both Gran­ite Hills (6-1) and Riverdale (63) are tied for the No. 2 spot in Group C, al­though the Griz­zlies are ahead based on goal dif­fer­en­tials. The two face off at 9:50 a.m. to­day on the main field at Lindsay with Gran­ite Hills look­ing to con­tinue to the tour­na­ment rounds with a win or tie against Riverdale.

Gran­ite Hills went 1-1 Fri­day af­ter ar­riv­ing late to their first game and los­ing 1-0 to Cen­tral. The Griz­zlies bounced back in their sec­ond game and man­aged to shut out Han­ford West (0-5-1) 3-0. Against the Huskies, sopho­more Jonathan Car­ranza scored two goals 10 min­utes apart be­fore the 20-minute mark and se­nior Ivan Ayon scored on a free kick from the 20-yard line in the fi­nal sec­onds.

“In the first game, by the time we wake up and started warm­ing up, they al­ready fin­ished the first half,” GHHS head coach Pe­dro Gon­za­lez said. “And when they scored the first goal, the only goal of the game. The other team played good, they dom­i­nated the first half. But in the sec­ond half, we made a cou­ple of ad­just­ments and played good. We were there [with Cen­tral]. In the sec­ond game, the guys are ready, pre­pared for the sec­ond game and you can see a dif­fer­ence.”

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Lindsay High School’s Moises Be­ten­court, right, bat­tles for a ball against Porter­ville High School’s Kevin Gil Fri­day, Dec. 7, dur­ing the sec­ond half of a game at the Lindsay High School An­nual Soc­cer Cup at Frank Skadan Sta­dium in Lindsay.

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Right: Porter­ville High School’s goalie Ed­uardo An­ge­les makes a save Fri­day, Dec. 7, dur­ing the sec­ond half of a game at the Lindsay High School An­nual Soc­cer Cup at Frank Skadan Sta­dium in Lindsay. Left: Porter­ville High School’s Kevin Gil steals a ball from Lindsay High School’s An­gel Ca­margo.

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Porter­ville High School’s Ivan Al­can­tar clears a ball as Lindsay High School’s Julio Godoy, left, at­tempts to set from free kick.

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