WILD­CATS EDGE VEN­TURA

Prep soc­cer: West Ranch fends off early deficit to beat Ven­tura

The Signal - - Front page - By Diego Mar­quez Sig­nal Staff Writer

West Ranch boys soc­cer hosted Ven­tura in a hard-nosed and phys­i­cal non-league game at West Ranch on Tues­day.

The tem­per­a­ture read 64 de­grees, but play on the field heated things up as West Ranch was able to com­plete a 2-1 come­from-be­hind vic­tory against Ven­tura.

“We still have a lot to work on,” said West Ranch head coach Louis Mogrovejo. “We are try­ing out a new for­ma­tion and try­ing out a cou­ple play­ers at dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. So over­all with all that’s go­ing on, the boys came to­gether as a team and found a way to win.

“I’ve al­ways told the boys, ‘You have to find a way to win no mat­ter what.’ At the end of the day, they played their hearts out and they earned that win 100 per­cent.”

Be­gin­ning the game a lit­tle flat­footed, West Ranch (2-1-1) played off the counter-at­tack as for­ward Daniel Le­vite in­ter­cepted a pass at mid­field and sent a through ball to Ja­cob Gen­dein who was galloping down the mid­dle of the pitch.

Forc­ing the goalie to come off his line, Gen­dein took a shot but was de­nied by the Ven­tura goal­keeper.

Then, with just un­der 13 min­utes to play in the half, the Wild­cats lined up for a throw-in. Jostling for po­si­tion along the

side­line with a Cougars de­fender, Le­vite let out a yell and im­me­di­ately raised his hand call­ing to be subbed out.

Le­vite ex­ited the game with a right arm in­jury. Play­ing with­out their one of their most of­fen­sive­minded play­ers, the Wild­cats drew a 0-0 stale­mate af­ter the first half.

“When you have play­ers in key po­si­tions that do things for you in cer­tain games that hurts you be­cause now we have to shift things around,” Mogrovejo said. “Def­i­nitely not hav­ing Le­vite in the game it did hurt us, but we were able to re­cover and put play­ers in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions to help us out and find the ‘W.’”

Fill­ing the of­fen­sive skills that Le­vite en­com­passes ev­ery time he is out on the field, Gen­dein and Josh Swan­son pushed a lit­tle higher and at­tacked more ag­gres­sively to be­gin the sec­ond half.

Push­ing num­bers up, Ven­tura (0-2-1) found their op­por­tu­nity 18 min­utes into the half as Ho­race John­son stole a ball just above mid­field, drib­bled the ball to the left edge of the 18-yard box and took a shot that flew past the Wild­cats goal­keeper giv­ing the Cougars the 1-0 lead.

Look­ing like it was go­ing to end in a Wild­cats loss with un­der six min­utes to go in the game, West Ranch an­swered with a goal of their own.

Josh Swan­son drib­bled a ball down the right side of the pitch into Ven­tura’s 18-yard box, find­ing Gen­dein, who laid wait­ing for the pass, to bring the Wild­cats even at 1-1.

“When we got the ball out wide, I saw the de­fend­ers open up per­fectly just for Josh to put the ball in the gap,” Gen­dein said. “It was all in the cross. I just had to guide the ball to­wards the goal and that’s ex­actly what I did.”

Giv­ing the Wild­cats life with two min­utes left in the game, Mogrovejo urged his play­ers to push up and com­plete the come­back vic­tory.

Lis­ten­ing to his coach, Swan­son pushed up and found him­self one-on-one with a Ven­tura de­fender 18-yards from the goal. Us­ing his body and jukes, Swan­son con­fused the Cougars de­fender forc­ing him to foul Swan­son in­side the penalty-box and forc­ing penalty shot.

Car­los Gu­tierez lined up for the penalty, nestling it past the Ven­tura goal­keeper to com­plete the 2-1 come-from-be­hind West Ranch vic­tory.

“Swan­son play­ing on the wing was pretty big,” Mogrovejo said. “I’ve been want­ing him to step up in that po­si­tion and to­day he did what I wanted and stepped up and got us those two goals. They scored but he did all the work on the wing.”

West Ranch opens up league-play against Canyon at Canyon Fri­day, Dec. 14.

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional photos on sig­nalscv.com)

West Ranch’s Ja­cob Gen­dein (11) fights for the ball against Ven­tura High de­fender David Kelly (4) at West Ranch High on Tues­day. The Wild­cats won 2-1.

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional photos on sig­nalscv.com)

(Above) West Ranch team­mates Car­los Gu­tierez (10), left, and Shae Weiner (8) cel­e­brate af­ter Gu­tierez scored on a penalty kick in the fi­nal sec­onds of the sec­ond half to win the game against Ven­tura High School at West Ranch High on Tues­day. (Be­low) West Ranch goal keeper Se­bas­tian Di­mas stops a shot on goal in the first half against Ven­tura High School at West Ranch High on Tues­day.

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