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Watsonville finishes runner up of Homestead Cup Gold Division

Posted: Sunday, Dec 23rd, 2012

CUPERTINO – The Watsonville High boys soccer team finished as the runner-up of the Gold Division of the Homestead Cup after losing a penalty-kick session to host Homestead on Saturday.

Homestead prevailed 9-8 in penalty kicks to win the Gold Division championship over the Wildcatz.

The two teams were tied 2-2 after regulation thanks to Alex Cibrian’s second goal of the game that came in injury time. The Wildcatz got a corner kick, and the ball came right to Cibrian, who leaped above everyone else and headed the ball. The ball spiked to the ground before going in for the game-tying goal.

Because of CCS rules, the game officially goes down as a tie for both teams, meaning that Watsonville’s record goes to 5-0-1. But to settle the tournament championship, the two teams took part in a penalty-kick shootout.

Homestead took a 3-2 lead in the session when Guy Elgar went to the right. Nicholas Williams then stopped a direct shot by Brian Hernandez.

Right after that, Roman Cruz dived to the right and denied Yuta Arai. Watsonville’s Bryan Garcia followed up with a penalty shot to the left to tie the session at 3-3.

Each team made their next five attempts. At 8-8, Jesus Martinez-Diaz booted the ball to the left. Cruz got a hand on it, but the ball still went in for a goal. Williams then stopped Watsonville’s next shot attempt, and the Mustangs celebrated the tournament win.

Cibrian scored both of Watsonville’s goals in regulation time.

His first goal came in the 61st minute. He raced down the right sideline with a Homestead defender in pursuit. Williams came out of the goal slightly to challenge Cibrian, and Cibrian kicked the ball as hard as he could past Williams for the Wildcatz’s first goal of the game.

As much as Watsonville tried to keep the momentum, it couldn’t. Homestead’s defense denied Watsonville a chance to score again quickly.

Watsonville had two prime opportunities late in regulation.

A Watsonville player was fouled in the 70th minute a foot outside of the goalkeeper’s box. Homestead had the chance to put all of its defenders within feet of the goal, and it worked, as a Watsonville shot attempt went wide to the right.

Six minutes later, another Watsonville player was fouled, again a foot outside of the box. A quick one-timer on the free kick was blocked.

As injury time began, the ball was kicked around at midfield, as Homestead couldn’t get an opportunity to ice the contest. Watsonville sent the ball deep into Homestead’s side, and a battle near the baseline resulted in a corner kick awarded to the Wildcatz. Then came Cibrian’s goal.

For the complete article see the 12-25-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-25-2012 paper.

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