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Godinez tops Garden Grove in PKs, advances to SoCal final
SANTA ANA - It took Godinez’s boys soccer team eight years, but it won its first CIF-SS championship last week.
Now the Grizzlies have a chance to win their second trophy in a week.
After playing Garden Grove to a 0-0 tie on Thursday, Godinez converted four of its penalty kicks to edge the Argonauts, 4-3, in a CIF Southern California Division IV Regional semifinal at Santa Ana Sports Complex.
Godinez goalie Alex Penaloza stopped three of Garden Grove’s six penalty kicks to secure a spot in Saturday’s state championship game against Valencia of Valencia.
It was the second consecutive match that ended in penalty kicks for the Grizzlies (21-1-5).
“The last two games he has been the hero,” Godinez coach Ruben Fernandez said. “He is in a tough spot. We are a team that doesn’t get tested a lot, and being a goalie that is the hardest part. You are not involved in the game, and now you are called on to make a save.”
The top-seeded Grizzlies, who won the CIF-SS Division 4 championship this past Saturday, will play Valencia at the Santa Ana Sports Complex at 4 p.m.
“We have been knocking at the door (of winning a championship) for the last three for years,” Fernandez said. “Now, it seems like everything that went against us is going our way. But with all due respect to Garden Grove, we were the dominant team.”
The Grizzlies had plenty of chances to score, but Bryan Ibarra, Jonathan Romero, Edgar Adame and Andy Sosa had a hard time connecting with each other when crossing the ball.
When the Grizzlies did take a shot, their aim was slightly off.
In the 75th minute, Godinez appeared to score off a long throw from Nicolas Suazo. After Ibarra flicked the ball toward the far post, it hit off the bottom of the cross bar and slammed into the turf. The ball just missed crossing the goal line.
Ariel Garcida was standing in the goal when he cleared the ball for the Argonauts (19-8-4), who won the CIF-SS Division 5 title last Friday.
“I am sad that it is over, but I am happy that I was able to experience this with them,” Garden Grove coach Matt Grenert said. “We didn’t even think we would win CIF, so this is all a bonus.”
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