Sports

Raiders bottle up Western, miss opportunities in scoreless draw

sonoraby Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Despite having the edge in time of possession, the Sonora boys’ soccer team couldn’t quite find a finishing touch in a scoreless draw with Western, Friday afternoon at Sonora High.

While the Raiders’ defense limited Western’s scoring opportunities, they couldn’t take advantage on the offensive side, as they either held the ball too long or missed a shot off a cross.

“We were a bit indecisive in the offensive third today and we’re going to work on that,” said Cory Witt, Sonora head coach. “But we’re progressing the way we need to be, I think we’re in a good spot and we’re excited.

The Raiders’ offensive woes began early when forward Giancarlo Oros failed to make a solid touch on a good cross from Andy Araiza in the 9th minute.

The cross skipped off the top of Oros’ foot and out of the box.

Later in the half, Steve Vizarraga dribbled around a defender, leaving Sonora with a two-on-one against Western goalkeeper Victor Lozada, but instead of passing around to Oros, tried a contested shot that missed wide right.

A shot by Jose Murillo late in the half was also grabbed by Lozada.

Western (3-1-1) had its best shot at scoring in the 23rd minute when a breakaway forced Sonora goalkeeper Luis Gonzalez out to challenge.

The ball bounced off Gonzalez and to the left, but the ensuing shot trickled wide right.

“Defensively, I thought we looked good, we kept our shape pretty well and we were supporting each other well,” Witt said. “We need to work a little bit better on collapsing in the middle when we lose the ball and expanding when we have the ball. Those are the two things we’re really working on with these boys. They seemed to want to stay expanded thinking we’re going to get the ball and luckily today we were able to win the ball every time.”

In the second half, a great through ball by Joey Montalvo was negated by an offside call.

Pedro Curiel fired a shot to the upper left corner in the 77th minute, but … was able to get his fingertips on it and poke it above the cross bar.

The game ended after a Pioneer free kick in which Victor Balanzer connected with Rene Santillian for a header, but the ball bounced out just wide right.

“League is just around the corner,” Witt said. “We have three more preseason games, so we’ll get all those kinks out and we’ll be ready to go.”

Sonora (0-2-1) plays its next nonleague game at California High, next Friday at 3 p.m.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.