Second half lapse results in tough loss for Sonora
by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
After allowing two late goals, the Sonora boys’ soccer team dropped their Freeway League opener with a tough loss to Troy, 2-1, at Sonora.
Before the game even started, emotions were running high. Both teams gathered around midfield and had a moment of silence in memory of former La Habra soccer head coach Steve Aanderud.
The majority of the first half was played in the middle of the field, with no major threats from either side. The Warriors (10-1-1) managed to get off three shots, while the Raiders only had one.
Sonora’s goalie, Luis Gonzalez, turned away all three shots he faced and the one Sonora shot was also stopped, leaving the game scoreless at halftime.
In the second half, both defenses fell apart at times, which opened up the scoring. Sonora (3-3-2) broke through first, in the 53rd minute.
Off of a throw in, Andy Araiza crossed the ball in front of the Troy goal. The Warriors’ goaltender appeared to collide with a defenseman and the ball went right to Jose Murillo’s foot, and Murillo put it into the goal to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, the Raiders almost took a 2-0 lead. Steve Vizarraga got a shot off from long distance, but it was tipped over the crossbar by Troy’s goalkeeper.
“We played a great game for the whole first half and the first part of the second half,” said Sonora head coach, Cory Witt. “But the last part of the game we started to make a lot of mistakes, and you cannot do that in league play.”
The Sonora defense made great plays all throughout the first half, but after the goal, they left some holes for the Warriors.
In the 63rd minute, Troy wing Peter Seminara broke away and had a one-on-one with Gonzalez. There was not much Gonzalez could do about it, and Seminara put the ball in the net for the equalizer.
“We played 60 really good minutes,” Witt said. “Especially in league play, though, it seems that games are won and lost in the last 20 minutes. We proved that today.”
The Troy offense kept rolling after that and got three shots in the next five minutes. None of them were converted but the momentum was clearly in Troy’s favor.
The breakthrough came in the 71st minute. Troy defenseman Brendan Green delivered a beautiful through pass to the foot of midfielder Jose Manuel Garcia who also broke away for a score to put Troy up 2-1.
The Raiders were not able to get anything going offensively before the clock ran out.
“We are a team that is always improving,” Witt said. “We will be back and stronger going forward.”
The Raiders will look to even their league record at 1-1, Friday at home against Fullerton.