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SAM GANGWER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Godinez midfielder Jose Martinez, left, flies through the air as he tries to clear the ball from Saddleback defender Jose Valdez in varsity boys soccer Wednesday afternoon.

Godinez's extra effort pays off

OCVARSITY.COM

Throughout much of the second half, Godinez boys soccer coach Ruben Fernandez begged the Grizzlies to start playing with a bit more urgency.

The energy that they had early in the game had disappeared once the midfielders began to tire.

"And they are the engine that drives this team," Fernandez said.

Still looking for a spark with about 20 minutes to go, Fernandez moved two of his forwards in the 3-3-4 formation to opposite sides of the field. The move had little effect against host Saddleback.

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OCVarsity Hot Shots: Wednesday's games

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But in the 73rd minute, Eduardo Gaona, the player that Fernandez kept urging to give a bit more, finally delivered the big play for Godinez. He got his head on a corner kick from Angel Palemonte, and even though Roadrunners goalie Ivan Zamora got his fingertips on the ball as he tried to make a leaping save, he couldn't stop the ball from going in to deliver a 1-0 Orange Coast League victory for Godinez.

But if Gaona wasn't having a bit of an off day, No. 9 Godinez (9-2-2, 2-1-1) might not have won.

He is usually the one who takes the corner kicks, but because he couldn't swing the ball in the way Fernandez wanted, he had Palemonte start taking the corners instead.

"He wasn't making runs and getting himself open and was reacting to the play," Fernandez said. "This is a big win for us."

The No. 8 Roadrunners (9-3-2, 2-2-1) had a chance to tie in stoppage time after Danny Vasquez drew a foul just outside the box. But Garry Carbajal blasted the free kick into the Grizzlies' wall.

In other boys soccer:

In the South Coast League:

No. 2 San Clemente 3, Tesoro 0: Blayne Martinez scored two goals and Gage Zerboni added another as the visiting Tritons (22-2-1, 5-0-0) reached 74 goals for this season, a school record.

In the Garden Grove League:

Santiago 2, Rancho Alamitos 1: Martin Cortez and Danny Fernandez both scored for the visiting Cavaliers (12-3-4, 5-0-0) to give Coach Sean Redmond his 200th victory.

In the Century League:

El Dorado 3, No. 10 Esperanza 2: Alex Trejo scored two goals to lead the host Golden Hawks (12-6-1, 5-3-0).

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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