Anaheim | La Habra Journal

Posted on 08 January 2014 by La Habra Journal


The La Habra boys soccer team poses with faculty and administrators before their home game against Anaheim, Wednesday afternoon. The game ended with a 2-2 draw.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Playing with the support of teachers and administrators in the stands during its first true home game in over a month, the La Habra boys’ soccer team sprinted out to a 2-0 lead over Anaheim within the first 20 minutes.

However, the Colonists scored in the final minute of the first half and dominated time of possession in the second half, ultimately scoring the equalizer in the 76th minute to salvage a tie with the Highlanders, 2-2 at La Habra High.

“We’ve been working on pressuring and it showed in the first half, we were creating chances and they were on their toes,” said Charlie Aleman, La Habra co-head coach. “I think we got a little bit tired toward the end and with a limited number of subs, it was hard to get guys some rest.”

The faculty and administration showed overwhelming support, coming out to watch the boys in their first game at La Habra since the passing of Coach Steve Aanderud.

The Highlanders (6-4-2) gave them plenty to cheer about as they put consistent offensive pressure on Anaheim for the majority of the first half.

Those cheers erupted early after forward Oscar Garcia turned a steal into a rebound goal in the 12th minute.

After forcing a turnover near midfield, Garcia passed outside to Charlie Aleman, who fired a shot that bounced off the hands of Anaheim goalkeeper Raul Martinez and trickled right back to Garcia in the middle.

Garcia promptly drilled it to the lower left corner of the goal.

Six minutes later, outside forward Eric Sandoval worked around a defender near the corner and placed a perfect cross to the head of Joe Salinas for a 2-0 lead.

“We were able to create space well in the first half and that’s why our forwards were able to execute,” Aleman said. “Eric had great footwork in a one-on-one and delivered a great ball for the header. We noticed their defenders were big, but a little slower, so we just wanted to dribble around them and keep attacking.”

However, the game took its turn in the 40th minute. After the ball bounced around in La Habra’s defensive third, Anaheim’s Albert Cabrera caught La Habra goalkeeper Richie Ruiz out of position and scored a goal past Kolby McInally right at the end of the half.

The Colonists rode that momentum throughout the second half and kept the pressure on La Habra’s defense.

To add to that pressure, the Highlanders lost Garcia to a minor injury in the second half, forcing Aleman to go to the bench and reorganize the field.

The Highlanders are still without Robert Coronado for at least two more weeks and are missing striker Austin Nazer due to an ankle injury as well as CJ Camacho on defense. Midfielder Josue Rodriguez is out for the season as he recovers from a collarbone injury.

“They probably assumed after they got the goal that they would have momentum, so we tried to tell our players not to allow them to keep it,” Aleman said. “But when Oscar got hurt, that forced us to move some pieces around.”

Still, the Highlanders’ defense handled the majority of that pressure in the second half.

But after five successful saves by Ruiz, Anaheim’s Emmanuel David broke through when his shot from the left side toward the near post bent in for a goal in the 76th minute.

The Highlanders will now turn their attention to the Freeway League, where they open with a road game at Fullerton High, next Wednesday.

“I think they’re going to be good, I think a lot of people don’t have us doing well this year because of all the news about Steve and because we don’t have anyone that really stands out,” Aleman said. “I think we’re more united as a team now and when we get our pieces back, like Robert, CJ and Austin, I think we could do something special.”


The Raiders defeated Bolsa Grande 4-1 at home, Wednesday afternoon. Giancarlo Oros led the Raiders with two goals, Andy Araiza and Jose Murillo also scored as Sonora improved to 2-2-1.

Sonora travels to Whittier High to take on the Cardinals, Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Habra Sports Journal