Sluggish Godinez holds off La Jolla in Div. IV regional


SANTA ANA – After Tuesday’s game at Santa Ana Valley High, Godinez boys soccer coach Ruben Fernandez gathered his players around and told them they should learn a valuable lesson from the game's result.

Never take anything for granted, he said, in life or soccer.

Still riding an emotional high from winning a CIF-SS championship on Saturday, the Grizzlies, Fernandez said, lacked intensity for the first hour or so of the contest.

As a result, Godinez gave up what Fernandez called two soft goals, and the Southern California Regional Division IV quarterfinal against La Jolla eventually went to overtime, tied 2-2. 

Despite the sluggishness, the Grizzlies managed to advance, edging La Jolla on penalty kicks, 4-3. Alex Penaloza stopped the Vikings’ fifth and final PK to secure the win.

“It was hard to get pumped up for this game. That is understandable after winning on Saturday,” Fernandez said. “We kind of thought that we were going to be in control of the game and cruised.”

Godinez will be the home team for its semifinal against Garden Grove on Thursday. 

The top-seeded Grizzlies (21-1-5) took a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute as Bryan Ibarra headed in Rodrigo Manzo’s in-swinging corner kick.

“After we scored, we though the job was done,” Fernandez said. “We fell asleep defensively.”

Evan Lewis scored twice for La Jolla (7-9-6), His second goal put the Vikings up, 2-1, in the 68th minute.

In an eight-minute span against La Jolla, the Grizzlies conceded as many goals as they did in 10 league games.

But with two minutes remaining, Richard Cabrera scored a poacher’s goal, knocking in a rebound from the top of the 6-yard box to force overtime.

Cabrera has seen little playing time this season. He hadn’t played since the Grizzlies’ final Orange Coast League game and was only in the lineup because senior midfielder Ricardo Diaz is out with a right ankle injury.

“He is a good finisher when he has the chance. He has good touch, but he has guys in front of him (on the depth chart) that have played the whole season,” Fernandez said. “I am very happy for him. He is a kid that has played sporadically. He never complains and takes the playing time that he can get, and for him to come and give us life, I am happy for him.”

Also in DivisionIV:

Garden Grove 3, McClane of Fresno 2: Johvanni Garcia scored two goals and Elian Areola added one to lead the visiting Argonauts (19-7-3).

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