Valencia boys dust Knights, but fall to Miyamura

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Valencia responded from a tough 3-2 loss at Miyamura on Tuesday with an 8-1 win over Del Norte at home on Thursday.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Valencia’s Christian Armijo, center, battles for a loose ball with Del Norte players in Thursday’s match. The Jaguars beat the Knights, 7-1, without head coach Eric Gutierrez on the sidelines. Gutierrez received a red card in Tuesday’s intense 3-2 district loss at Miyamura.

And it came under the watchful eyes of two different coaches.

Head coach Eric Gutierrez got a red card for a heated discussion with an official in Tuesday’s Miyamura match. Junior varsity coach Jose Enriquez took over the rest of that match, and coached during Thursday’s home win over the Knights.

Gutierrez will be back for the Jaguars’ (5-4, 1-1 in District 6-4A) visit to Grants (4-4, 0-1) on Saturday. Kickoff is at 11 a.m.

Enriquez was excited about the opportunity to lead the Jaguars again. He coached the Jags 1-0 win over Capital earlier in the season, when Gutierrez was suspended for one game for not having one of his younger players attend enough practices before playing in a match.

“I love to coach,” Enriquez said. “I think I am finding a niche for it. I am glad that my second one was a lot easier than my first. It is always hard because I have to get the JV ready while keeping an eye out for varsity and seeing what is going on there. It is not much of an issue if you are leading 4-0 going into the second half.”

Miyamura 3, Valencia 2

Tuesday, host Miyamura scored two goals quickly to take a 2-0 lead into halftime, only to see the Jags come back in the second half to tie the match 2-2 on goals from Alan Ramirez and Snider in the 50th and 59th minutes.

After the red card was issued to Gutierrez, the Valencia coach, Miyamura got the winning goal in the last five minutes of the match when Xavier Chaves scored for the Patriots ((7-2, 2-0).

Chaves and Miguel Gutierrez had the first-half goals for Miyamura.

Valencia was outshot in the district contest, 15-8.

Valencia 8, Del Norte 1

Thursday at Valencia, Diego Ramirez and Andrew Snider led the scoring assault that got the Jags back over the .500 mark for the year.

Ramirez got four goals, three in the second half, and added two assists as the Jaguars outshot the Knights 11-4 in the easy win.

Enriquez especially praised Snider’s efforts as he forward led the charge on most offensive series.

“Andrew Snider had just as many assists as he did goals,” said Enriquez. “That is what is important. Goals are great, but assists are worth as much as a goal.”

Snider scored twice and had two assists. He scored the final goal of the match by breaking through two Knight defenders and putting a well-placed shot past Del Norte goalkeeper Gerardo Velador.

“You can’t have those goals unless you have the whole team working together for the assist,” said Enriquez.

Christian Armijo scored the first goal only 54 seconds into the match. He squeezed through two defenders and hit a hard strike within 10 yards of the goal. Velador blocked it, but could not hold on and the ball dribbled off his hands past the goal line.

David Acosta scored the next goal with some precise footwork in front of the goal box. Ramirez fed him the ball with about a 20-yard kick into the box and Acosta tapped the ball out of the air with his right foot, settling it. He then stuck the ball with his left, all in one smooth motion, to score and make it 2-0 Valencia.

“It is especially great when you shoot it with your left foot,” said Enriquez. “Most of our players are right-foot dominant. It just shows that you don’t have to rely on one foot to score goals.”

Snider and Ramirez each got a goal in the first half to make it 4-0 at halftime.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.