Boys Soccer: Young blanks St. Laurence
Young needed to find some fresh legs and new possibilities. A couple of reserves seized the opportunity that pushed the Dolphins over the top.
Two Young seniors recorded their first goals of the year Dolphins used to power past St. Laurence 2-0 in the first game of the Public League/Catholic League Shootout at Solorio Saturday morning.
“We had a conference game, a 1-0 victory over Mather, that went until 6:30 last night, and not to minimize the value of this game, but that was the more important game for us,” Young coach Ian McCarthy said. The depth proved crucial since the team’s best player, junior Jaime Alonso, missed much of the second half after he was knocked to the turf two minutes into the second half.
Young (8-6) also thwarted the early pressure of the Vikings, who had the Dolphins on their heels in the opening 15 minutes. Senior midfielder Ulises Olivares helped swing the tide decisively in the Dolphins’ favor by blasting in a shot in the first half that put the Dolphins up 1-0 at the break.
The Dolphins won for the fourth time in its last five games.
St. Laurence did not go down meekly. The Vikings generated considerable pressure at the start of the second half. St. Laurence (5-6-1) created five corner kick opportunities in the first 17 minutes of the second half. Senior midfielder and team captain Arnold Hernandez smashed a header on the second corner opportunity that drew Young keeper Jesus Velasco out of the net.
A Young defender cleared the goal, helping preserve the Dolphins’ narrow hold. “We didn’t do a very good job of utilizing our opportunities,” St. Laurence coach Bill Gaichas said. “We were down a couple of players, to injuries, concussions, but still, that’s no excuse. Everybody is dealing with injuries right now.
“Finishing is something we have to improve on.”
Young put the game away in the 74th minute on an emotional score by senior forward Abrahem Belay. The African-born player is deaf, one of approximately 50 deaf or hearing-impaired students at Young. “There was a boy who passed it to me, I ran and I kicked it in,” Bely said, speaking through his signing interpreter.
“I got the goal and they all congratulated me.”