Santiago boys’ soccer team overthrows King to remain unbeaten in Big VIII League – Press Enterprise

RIVERSIDE – The Big VIII League boys’ soccer title will go through Santiago for the third season in a row.

Jacob Frias scored just before the break and Dylan Vega, Paul Mina and Jose Aldaco scored in the second half as the Sharks defeated King 4-2 on Wednesday night to remain unbeaten in the league game.

“We’re catching our groove and just finding our identity after losing so many players after last season,” Santiago coach Henry Sierra said. “We’re a very explosive counterattack team right now.”

Derek Meza made seven saves for Santiago (6-1-5, 5-0-0 in the league), the two-time defending league champion.

“We get better as we move forward and confidence grows again,” Sierra said. “These guys know the expectations are there and there are big shoes to fill.”

Anthony Alvarez scored his ninth goal of the season on a free kick in the second half, but King (6-2-6, 2-1-2) was unable to remain undefeated in the league.

“It’s hard for me to be disappointed. We played well,” said King coach Todd Mapes. “I thought we were in the fight mentally and physically, but we have to put our shots away.”

The Wolves scored almost twice during a two-minute sequence in the first half, but Alvarez’s goal on goal in the 18th minute was struck over the crossbar by Meza. On the ensuing restart, Alvarez’s corner kick threw a glance at two Santiago defenders before going beyond the goal line.

Santiago took the lead in the 40th minute as Frias cleared up a loose ball inside the goal area and the Sharks put themselves ahead 2-0 in the first minute of the second half as Vega scored his second goal in two games on a quick counter . attack.

“The coach gives me a chance to get up on the wings and just try to score as many goals as possible,” Vega said. “I’m just trying to place the top corner and seal the game.”

King could have put themselves ahead after 48 minutes but Matt Gutierrez missed a volley shot on a ball coming in from the right. But all the chasing created holes at the other end and Mina scored seven minutes later, giving Santiago a 3-1 lead.

“We keep finding ways to win and the resilience is there,” Sierra said. “That identity is there. We never give up. Work ethic is there, and chemistry is there too. ”

Alvarez lifted a free kick into the mixer and went away with King’s second goal in the 88th minute, but Santiago could not be stopped on the counter-attack and Aldaco chipped Wolves goalkeeper Justin Aparicio to the Sharks’ last goal of the match.

Santiago is now unbeaten in its last five matches against King (4-0-1), going back to 2020.

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