Team News, 2008 Season - Ohlone Renegades Men's Soccer
Team Spirit High with Renegades Men
Friday, September 26, 2008.
Fremont, CA – The Renegades hosted visiting West Valley Vikings on Friday for their opening conference match. Ohlone who has been struggling with injuries since day 1 had two key players unavailable for the match, team captain and center back Sean Powers as well as left back Sammy Haidari. The loss of two key players however did not deter the Renegades from putting together one of their best performances of the season despite the 2 – 1 loss to the Vikings
“Score is not always a good indication of how well a team plays” said first year coach Don Williams. “I have had teams that have won and I was not happy at all with their performance, but today was a great example of the other end of the spectrum. We were not winners on the scoreboard but we won as far as determination and guts. We played last year’s divisional champion dead even in shots and scoring opportunities.” Coach Williams also added “it was amazing to see our men in the locker room after the match, you would have thought they won, they knew they played this match evenly and probably should have earned the win.”
The Vikings tallied the first goal of the match when they were awarded a penalty kick when a West Valley player was cut down in the penalty box. The second goal came just before half time when a controversial non-call left a West Valley player in an offside position; he slotted home the goal leaving Renegades keeper Iman Aghel (Mashad, Iran Allamah High School) completely helpless.
Of Aghel’s performance coach Williams said, “Iman is improving match by match, he had a couple of key saves, at least 2 of his 6 saves were great stuff and he is learning to communicate with his teammates well.” One of Aghel’s saves came when the ball was crossed to a wide open West Valley striker who had an easy and clear look at the far post, Aghel came flying across the face of the goal and was able to get a foot on the ball while he was diving and the shot careened off of him.
Ohlone’s defense was the key to their success on the day. The Renegades were closing down West Valley and giving them little room to operate. As a result West Valley got off only 8 shots in the match and Ohlone was able to match that total on the day.
Ohlone finally got on the score board in the 57th minute when Patrick Lee (Fremont, Mission San Jose High) took a corner kick that disappeared directly into the goal for his team leading 2nd goal of the season.
The Renegades continued to assault the Vikings goal in the 2nd half getting off 4 great shots on target, the best of which was a shot by Danny Zermino (Union City, James Logan High) when he hit a rocket headed for the right side of the net but was denied by the Vikings keeper who came up with a diving save to his left.
While the Ohlone men may not have tallied a win yet, Coach Williams said he knows that the win is just around the corner. “If we keep believing in ourselves, if we keep working hard and improving, the wins will come eventually. Our men are learning so much about skills at the highest level as well as learning about never giving up and fighting through adversity. I am so proud of them!”
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