By Matt Smith
Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 9:05 am in Boys soccer.
The Division I boys All-Star soccer team used two first half goals to top the Division II All-Stars, winning 2-1 in the first annual East Bay All-Star Senior Showcase.
Erik Montes delighted his home Richmond crowd, scoring a goal within the first 10 minutes as the Oiler faithful got to see him play at Aceitero Stadium one more time. He did not disappoint, not only scoring the first goal, but looking very poised and creative in the midfield the entire night.
His goal was the product of a well-timed run, and a great pass from Pittsburg’s Izzy Murguia, whose precision passing showed why he was tied for the lead in the East Bay with 21 assists.
The second goal was created beautifully, and was done so by two league MVP’s. Christian Clark of Foothill, who was a force each time he was on the field, created the second goal, taking the ball down the left wing, and beating his man inside the box. He then made a perfect pass into the box as Freedom’s Jorge Cendejas positioned himself perfectly, scoring the second goal.
It was no surprise that Montes and Cendejas scored the two goals for the Division I side as the two combined for 64 goals between them during the high school season.
Division I continued to press for much of the first half, and then for the last 20 minutes of the second half, and if it hadn’t been for the Division II keepers, DI may have scored a few more times.
Starter Emmanuel Jimenez of Concord was outstanding in the first half, with several key saves, as well as coming out of the box and clearing many threatening crosses and corners, while Eric Rogstad of Acalanes withstood a barrage of shots and made three great saves in the span of a minute in the second half.
Division II came out energized and focused in the second half, controlling a good portion of the play early on and getting a goal (own goal) to get back in the game.
But that would be all that DII could get as De La Salle’s Andrew Konstantino pitched a first half shutout, and Northgate’s Max Sonnier made an incredible sliding stop when it looked like DII was going to tie the game. Sonnier selflessly played for the Division I team after their second keeper, Chris Contreras of Freedom, couldn’t attend.
Beyond the goals, it was a night of exciting play as players from both sides, all over the field, left a lasting impression.
Fans came away impressed with Felix Gonzalez of Albany, who’s speed and ball skills were quite spectacular, and he also came close to scoring in the first half. He had a big rip that sailed just wide, and he also tested Konstantino with a shot that was saved on a tough in-between hop.
Great defensive play from Tennyson’s Gerardo Acosta, Max Lovelle, Cesar Mendoza, Graham Lindgren, Brad Alman, Antonio Ramirez and Yojay Basulto also kept DII in the game. After the two goals, the defense really locked down, challenged well and protected the keepers from several dangerous chances.
Chris Torres, Anoop Gala, Diego Garcia, Allan Foster, Brandon Bolender and Ben Croze were driving forces for DII threats, which started coming late in the first half and for much of the second half as these players started to get into the flow offensively, and started creating many more chances.
This was also because because DII started to use its strength, which was its midfield, led in part by the impressive play of Gonzalez and the Ygnacio Valley duo, Edgar Damian and Jose Aguilar. The Campolindo duo also controlled play nicely as Kian Maghsoodnia and Rodrigo Diaz-Valdes (who plays everywhere) played well, while Catalino Gomez, Danny Glascock and Andy Altamirano of Concord really stood out. Christian Mendoza nearly scored for DII in the first half as the ball found just a bit too much of the outside of his boot, as he and Andrew Chalker created some great play in the midfield.
Karl Bliven of Alameda and Onah Power of Oakland Tech made some very aggressive and instinctive stops to keep DII at bay, and the rest of the DI defenders (Matt Marletta, Kyle Schumann, Jay Doyle, Daniel Marquez, Jaime Ceja and Chris Yoshida) played exceptionally well.
Murguia, Montes and Jose Sanchez of Mt. Eden provided plenty of speed in the midfield, but the solid play of the holding and defensive midfielders can’t be overlooked for DI. Power along with Nic Bob of De La Salle, Brian Ramos of Richmond and Ben Panconi of Monte Vista helped control the midfield, allowing DI to start several attacks.
The athleticism that DI had on display up top and on the wing was impressive as Ben Reiter, Joel Sandoval, Nigus Solomon, Christian Orozco, Nate Grixti, Jon Massimino, Matt Maul, Noah Yang and Jorge Alvarez pressured the DII defenders all night.