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Condors end five-game slide with shutout

Posted: Thursday, Jan 31st, 2013

North Monterey County's Angel Flores (left) taps the ball out of the reach of the Seaside goalkeeper during the 23rd minute of Thursday's game at Condor Stadium at North Monterey County High. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

CASTROVILLE — Sergio Marquez issued the ultimatum to his team: win, or else roster changes were coming.

The North Monterey County High boys soccer team responded with a 2-0 victory on Thursday afternoon at Condor Stadium.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak in which the Condors scored just one goal during that span. In a division that is probably the toughest in the Central Coast Section, the Condors (7-8-1, 2-6 MBL Gabilan) don’t consider themselves out of playoff contention just yet.

On Thursday afternoon, the Condors looked like the championship contenders from a year ago, as they held the advantage on Seaside, made crisp passes, and got the early goal to put the opponent on the ropes.

North Monterey County got the first goal in the 27th minute. The Condors held the ball at midfield and kicked it to a running Gerardo Ramirez just outside of the box. Ramirez faked to the left and spun right, away from a Seaside defender. That left him one on one with the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper crept out, and Ramirez dodged by, kicking the ball low and to the left corner of the goal for a 1-0 North Monterey County lead.

That goal seemed to fire up Seaside, who spent the next five minutes holding control of the ball. The Spartans got two corner kicks only to see North Monterey County clear the ball each time.

In the 35th minute, Adolfo Castellanos, the Condors’ big man in the middle, had the first of several goal opportunities go wide. Much like Ramirez, Castellanos eluded a defender and had a one-on-one opportunity at the net. But his shot went wide left.

The Condors came out of the break and immediately got two shots on goal. Ramirez fed the ball to Castellanos in the 42nd minute, but Castellanos booted it wide right. A minute later, Castellanos won a 50-50 ball and did a turnaround shot that also went wide right.

He finally got one to go in at the 64th minute. The Condors got a throw-in from almost the right corner of the field. The ball went to Angel Flores, who quickly tapped it to Castellanos, who shot it low past the goalkeeper.

The shutout is North Monterey County’s first since Dec. 15, when they blanked Lincoln of San Jose 1-0 in the third-place match of the Oak Grove Gold Cup Tournament.

There was a scary moment in the 17th minute, when Seaside’s Adrian Miguel collided with a North Monterey County player near the Seaside goal. Miguel was down for a few minutes as trainers looked at his shoulder area. He was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

For the complete article see the 02-02-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-02-2013 paper.

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