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Missed opportunities cost Godinez, Loara

ANAHEIM – His team is sitting at the top of the CIF-SS Division 5 boys soccer poll, but Godinez coach Ruben Fernandez hasn’t really talked that much about it with the Grizzlies.

It’s not one of the goals that he set for the team. But finishing the nonleague portion of the season undefeated is, and thanks to leaping save from Lorenzo Robles, the Grizzlies will still have a chance to that later this week.

The senior goal keeper batted away a Noel Gonzalez penalty kick as it headed to the upper left corner in the 56th minute, helping the Grizzlies play to a 2-2 tie with host Loara.

It was the first of two PKs that Robles faced in the second half. He couldn’t stop, a low line drive from Miguel Moreno in the 65th minute, which set the final score.

Gonzalez finished with a goal, too, for the Saxons. He got behind the Grizzlies’ back line on a counterattack in the 25th minute, and despite getting a good push in the back, Gonzalez was able to guide his shot inside the left post.

 “From my position, I thought they were both PKs,” Fernandez said. “It was a fair result when you look at the whole game. They (Loara) had their times and their chances, but so did we.”

And Sergio Martinez and Eric Torres turned two of them into Godinez (5-0-3) goals.

“This is a great group of guys. I told them just work hard and enjoy the season,” Fernandez said. “If we do that the results will come. I don’t want to put too much pressure on them.”

The Saxons (6-2-1), though, weren’t the only ones to be denied by some clutch goal keeping.

In the 71st minute, Angel Palemonte sent a free kick flying toward the far post, which Juan Carlos Ramirez stopped with his diving save.

Not too long before that, Ramirez got his cleats on Manuel Jimenez’s shot from about 10 yards away.

When Ramirez couldn’t track down the ball, he got some help from the crossbar as two Godinez shots taken within seconds of each other in the 78th minute hit off the top of the goal.

There were plenty of missed opportunities, though, for both teams in Wednesday’s game. Gonzalez was responsible for most of the Saxons. The senior forward, Fernandez said, “caused us a lot of trouble … he moves so quick.”

Afterward, Loara coach Guillermo Montejano said he told Gonzalez that when you miss a chance, don’t put your head down. Keep working and working.

“And then you create another chance and that’s it,” Montejano said. “I told him, ‘If you listen to your coaches you will become a better player.’” 

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