It was brutally hot Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 31 as the Virgin Valley High School Bulldog boy soccer team faced off with the Sierra Vista High School Mountain Lions. It was a dog fight from start to finish despite temperatures reaching about 130 degrees. The Mountain Lions prevailed 1-0 on a goal 72 minutes into the match. It was a sad ending for the Bulldogs who displayed a strong defense the entire game.
The Bulldogs came out with a 4-3-3 game plan in support of new goalkeeper Hayden Johnson. The scheme worked as Johnson had five saves before giving up the winning goal in the last few minutes of the match. The Bulldogs were the more aggressive team the first 12 minutes of the match but could not get their offense going. Bulldog Angel De Santiago made some great tackles during the match along with Freddie Gomez who was strong on the ball. The first half ended in a defensive struggle 0-0.
The heat began to take its toll as Bulldog coach Chris Park substituted freely hoping not to overstress his players. The Mountain Lions played the Dawgs evenly and kicked up the offensive pressure with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
Lions coach Ryan Quinn put all his players in an offensive position in the hopes of overwhelming the Bulldog defense. The ploy worked as the Lions scored on a corner kick to the box giving Lions striker Stefano Villagomez a scoring opportunity and a 1-0 advantage after 72 minutes of play. The Lions offense continued their pressure the rest of the way. A huge save by Bulldog goalkeeper Johnson kept the final score to 1-0 in favor of Sierra Vista.
“Our defense played well,” said Bulldog first year coach Chris Park. “We are in good shape and expected to win. The kids played well despite the heat. Sierra Vista is a good 4-A team. We just need to finish.”
The Bulldogs are on the road for their next two matches before hosting Sunrise Mountain on Sept. 8.