November 10, 2012
Freshman goalie comes up big for Bella Vista in D-II soccer final

Here is the report by James Burns of the Modesto Bee of today's Division II boys soccer game at Lincoln of Stockton.

The Turlock boys soccer team pushed unbeaten and regionally ranked Bella Vista to the brink of defeat.

But in a sudden-death shootout, with a Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 championship hanging in the balance, Bella Vista pushed back.

Strike that, punched back.

Freshman goalie Drake Callendar punched away Desmond Madrigal's penalty kick, setting off a wild celebration at the top of the 18-yard box.

The Broncos (20-0-2) completed their near-perfect run with a second straight Division 2 championship, icing a red-hot Turlock team 5-4 in penalty kicks Saturday evening at Lincoln High.

The game was tied 1-1 after 100 minutes of soccer -- 80 regulation, and two 10-minute overtimes.

While cameras flickered and popped in the west end zone, Turlock coach Doug Sperry offered some perspective to a cluster of long, wet faces on the opposite end.

The Bulldogs' appearance in the D-2 final was their first in nine years, and a bit of fortune -- and only that -- kept them from celebrating the program's first-ever soccer section title.

Turlock closed its storybook campaign at 16-6-5, with a Central California Conference championship, a section plaque and momentum heading into next fall.

"We just got on this run, and it's been unbelievable," Sperry said. "The heart they played with was something special. They're young and they'll get better.

"We've come a long ways. Nobody picked us to win our league, much less reach PKs in the section final."

Jose Aguilera, Jonathan Lopez, Christian Olide and Alan Trellas buried PKs for Turlock. Reserve goalie Aldo Rodriguez came off the bench to record a save during the shootout, smothering a shot to his left.

In the end, though, Bella Vista was one goal and one stop better -- a small margin of victory Turlock's players clung to afterwards.

"A very intense, very emotional game," said. Dylan Castro, whose first-half goal gave the 'Dogs a surprising 1-0 lead. "This was a storybook season. People counted us out."

For 40 minutes, the game was played on Turlock's terms. The Bulldogs staggered the defending Division 2 champions early.

Martin Castoren found Castro in space at the back post in the 19th minute.
Castro's left-footed strike glanced off the near post and past Callendar.

"I made my run down the sideline, saw a gap between the defenders and decided to take my chance at it," Castro said. "I hit it as hard as I could."

The goal gave Turlock a sense of confidence that was palpable.

"It let us know that we could hang," Castro said. "It let us know that we had a chance; that rankings don't mean everything."

Daniel Saldana kept the Bulldogs' out in front with a point-blank stop on Stefan Sarkovich's shot at the edge of the 6-yard box four minutes into the match.

Saldana leaned to his left to make the save. The rebound found Tyler Miguel. His shot, which beat a prone Saldana and rippled the net, was waved off.

Miguel was offsides, spoiling Bella Vista's best scoring chance of the half.
Turlock's hold on the lead, however, was fleeting.

Bella Vista leveled the match in the 44th minute on a cornerkick. Making a near-post run, Trevor Jackson redirected the ball to the back door.

Mathew Waldron put his boot on the ball to make it 1-1.

For the third time in five years, a Central California Conference team pushed a regionally ranked and heavily favored opponent from the north.

In 2010, Golden Valley fell to 10-time section champion Jesuit, the winner of Saturday's D-1 final.

A year earlier, in Folsom, Merced shocked Davis of Yolo 1-0 to become the first team from the south to win a D-1 title since Beyer in 1996.

On Saturday, Turlock weathered a second-half and overtime barrage by Bella Vista and Jackson, its facilitator in the midfield.

Jackson's deft touch nearly put Bella Vista ahead in the 67th minute when he put a pass on Sarkovich's chest.

The forward popped it around a Turlock defender and let loose with a left-footed blast. Saldana, in position, knocked it down.

Later, in the 15th minute of overtime, Jackson watched as his glancing header carried over the crossbar.

On this night, Bella Vista would need extra time, penalty kicks and two PK saves by Callendar to wrestle victory from the 'Dogs' jaw.

Here's how the PK shooting went for Bella Vista:

1. Stefan Sarkovich: made, inside lower left post
2. Trevor Jackson: made, inside lower left post
3. Justin Childs: made, inside lower left post
4. Mark Calguire: miss, right post
5. Mathew Waldron: made, top right corner
(sudden death)
6. Tyler Miguel: made, left post

"We were ready," said Sperry, whose team closes each practice with a round of PKs. "Their goalie just made a great save."



About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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