Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Viva Loudoun Editor
Radford (June 12, 2012) - When the Tuscarora High School boys soccer team started the 2012 season with five straight 1-0 victories and didn't score more than one goal in eight of its first nine games, it looked clear that the Huskies path to success would be behind the defensive effort of junior center back Ben Ogedegbe and junior keeper Adam Kight.
Once the Region II tournament started, however, Tuscarora (21-3-2) opened its offensive into high gear behind uber-talented junior striker Angel Ceron-Garcia (31 goals on the year), averaging three goals a game to win the Region II title and when the AA tournament started the Huskies kept on scoring.
A 4-0 win over Tabb in the quarterfinals was followed with a shocking 4-1 win over perennial powerhouse Blacksbug in the Bruins own backyard at Radford University Friday in the state semifinals. Another 4-goal would have been needed Saturday to win a state title but the Huskies fell just short, falling 4-3 to Jamestown.
Tuscarora, a second-year school with just one senior on the roster, may have fallen a game short but nobody was questioning the team's entertaining attacking style or its heart after coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game Saturday against the Eagles, only to fall on a goal in the 73rd minute.
AA Boys Soccer State Title Game: Jamestown 4, Tuscarora 3
Jamestown was making its fifth appearance in Blacksburg for the boys soccer Final 4 in six years so the Eagles were no strangers to the big stage and Tuscarora knew all about Jamestown, having fallen to them 4-0 in the 2011 state quarterfinals.
Just like in 2011, Jamestown started the game off on fire, putting in two headers in the first five minutes for a 2-0 lead over the stunned Huskies. Unlike 2011, however, Tuscarora fought back this time.
Sophomore Edgar Resendiz made it 2-1 with just over 13 minutes left in the first half on a blast from 25 yards out through traffic. Armando Garzon set up the goal with a move deep into the right corner. He passed the ball back out to Indolfo Quintero-Reyes who flicked the ball back to Rsendiz.
Ceron-Garcia almost made it 2-2 with a shot in the 31st minute but it was poked away by the Jamestown keeper. Tuscarora, however, was called for a hand ball in the box with 3:26 left in the first half and the Eagles converted the penalty kick to make it 3-1.
While the Jamestown defense bottled up Ceron-Garcia most of the first half, he broke loose in the second half with two goals in an 2:16 span as the Huskies tied the game. On the first goal, Ceron-Garcia collected the ball on the edge of the 18 and instead of attacking into the box, he turned and fired off a low driving shot to the far post for the score.
On the second goal, Ceron-Garcia took advantage of some confusion in the back for Jamestown and eluded the keeper and poked it in the net.
Kight was big with a couple of saves down the stretch but Jamestown's Jon Cullom let loose a rocket from way outside in the 73rd minute for the game winner.
The Huskies appeared to tie the game just a minute later but the offsides flag was up on a long cross which several Tuscarora players attacked. In the final minutes, Ceron-Garcia threatened to play the hero with an effort near the six but it wouldn't go in.
AAA Boys Soccer State Semifinal Game: Tuscarora 4, Blacksburg 1
The Blacksburg High School boys soccer, with a record 11 VHSL state championships including five titles since 2002, were sure that they would get revenge for a 2011 title which slipped away to rival Jefferson Forest in the finals.
Both teams only needed to win Friday at Radford University to set up a rematch of that title game -- and of the regular-season meeting in which Jefferson Forest handed Blacksburg its only loss of the season coming into the Final Four -- only nobody told Tuscarora and Jamestown about this plan .. and the second-year Huskies from Leesburg shocked the state with a 4-1 win over Blacksburg and then Jamestown shocked Jefferson Forest with three late goals to erase a 2-0 deficit.
Blacksburg had only given up six goals on the season and only two of those non-penalty kicks but Ceron-Garcia and Tuscarora matched that total in the first half on two long breakaways as the Tuscarora dynamic junior scored in the 5th and 31st minutes, one coming off an assist from the team's lone senior Francisco Salvador.
The second goal by Ceron-Garcia is enough to make college coaches drool as he raced onto a ball, eluded a hustling play by the keeper, sprinting out to cut down on the angle, as Ceron-Garcia drifted around the keeper, he lost control and his balance for a second. By the time he had his aim back on the target, two Blacksburg defenders had come back with one standing on the goal line and another braced at the six-yard mark. Ceron-Garcia with poise and calm, marked a curling shot that rose just over the heads of the two defenders, skimmed off the roof of the goal as it curled towards the far post.
If the 2-0 halftime score wasn't enough to stun Bruins fans then Salvador's strike from 18 yards out just seconds into the second half was as it put Tuscarora up 3-1. Ceron-Garcia got credit with the assist on that goal and after Blacksburg sliced into the lead late but it was Ceron-Garcia again finding Salvador who had a state semifinal to remember.