Red dawn for GHS in win

Salinas – The long-awaited return of the Gilroy boys’ soccer
team resulted in a dominating 3-0 win over North Salinas, a 9-1
team expected to be among TCAL’s top contenders.
But while Friday’s victory was impressive, it also came with a
cost.
Salinas – The long-awaited return of the Gilroy boys’ soccer team resulted in a dominating 3-0 win over North Salinas, a 9-1 team expected to be among TCAL’s top contenders.

But while Friday’s victory was impressive, it also came with a cost.

With a comfortable three-goal lead in the second half, the Mustangs lost two key starters to red cards, which will prevent the pair from competing in Tuesday’s showdown with undefeated rival Live Oak.

The offenders were explosive forward Joel Vera and the team’s leading goal scorer, Everardo Diaz De Leon.

“I should be happy right, but I’m not,” said GHS co-head coach Armando Padilla, who is directing the team alone until Brian Hall returns from a referees’ convention in Los Angeles. “I’m a little upset, and it’s frustrating.

“You would want to go in against a team like Live Oak at full strength. Now we go in without two starters that make a significant difference on our team.”

Diaz De Leon was the first to get a red card. He was battling for the ball, stepped into it on the run, had his shirt held and then was called for swinging his elbow at his opponent.

The senior forward said he was simply in stride, and seemed mystified by the call as he stood on the sideline with a dazed look for the rest of the game.

“I don’t even know what the call was,” he said. “I don’t know why I would elbow him when I already controlled the ball. If I did, that definitely wasn’t my intentions.”

Even more so than the call, the thing Diaz De Leon was most upset about was the automatic one-game suspension that will force him to watch the Acorn game from the sideline.

“That’s what bothers me the most,” he said. “I guess there’s nothing else I can do about it now, though. I just wish I could be there.”

As for Vera, he’ll also sit. The speedy senior confronted the referee with just a dozen minutes left in the match. A foul was actually called against North Salinas, but Vera nevertheless argued with the ref.

After receiving his first yellow card, Vera walked off the field and received another one unknowingly.

“I actually did regret it right when I was told I got the second one,” he said. “It was really dumb. I thought about it and told myself I should’ve kept my mouth shut. Now I have to miss a big game this Tuesday.”

As for the actual play on the field, the Mustangs seemingly made quick work of the Vikings, who opened league season with a 3-0 win over Hollister Wednesday.

Fired up by a Salinas newspaper article hyping up the home team’s hot start, Gilroy (8-1-1) quickly got on the board in its first game since Dec. 16.

Less than two minutes into the match, senior forward Juan Llamas put the ‘Stangs up 1-0 with a little help from Ben Alcantar. Then just nine minutes later, he took an assist from Alfonso Motagalvan and gave his team an early two-goal lead.

“We plan on winning the league again and we knew North Salinas was supposed to be pretty good,” Llamas said. “We wanted to start with a win.”

After Motagalvan converted a penalty kick early in the second half, that win was all but assured.

With Live Oak up next, it’s now up to players like Humberto Pineda, Jose Velasquez and Javier Canales to fill the void of the team’s two missing starters.

“I hope the replacements play really good … I think they will,” Vera said. “We played pretty well today. They’ve just gotta keep it up.”

BOX SCORE

Gilroy 3, North Salinas 0

Scoring summary

1st half

1:55 Juan Llamas (Ben Alcantar)

10:56 Juan Llamas (Alfonso Motagalvan)

2nd half

8:46 Alfonso Motagalvan (PK)

Red cards: Everardo Diaz De Leon, Joel Vera

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