The postseason soccer play-offs began last week in Boonville with the hosts facing Fremont Christian at Tom Smith Field. Somewhat predictably these days, grades and discipline issues for a couple of the players lead to some disruption. Fortunately the remaining 18 players behaved themselves and in fact many have done extremely well in the classroom this year so far.
The match against Fremont, played on a hot (80°F) Saturday afternoon, should have been over in the first 20 minutes when AV created and missed chance after chance, with a number of good saves by the opposing ‘keeper certainly helping the Warriors. Finally, in the 28th minute, the deadlock was broken by a little ‘magic’ from Gerardo Torales who quickly controlled a pass, turned, and hammered a 22-yard shot into the roof of the net beyond the outstretched fingers of the goalie - a wonderful goal. AV played some excellent football for the whole half but it remained 1-0 at the half-time break with the Panthers in complete control.
The second half saw a more disjointed Panther performance as more chances were missed with no scoring. Fremont rarely crossed the half-way line but it was not until the final ten minutes that two more goals were added. First, Moises Segura with a header from a cross by Torales, and then Chirro Tovar who poked the ball into the goal from eight yards after a fine pass by Fernando Ferreyra. It finished 3-0. This was one of the most lopsided play-off games that the Panthers had played in for a number of seasons. Even if they had produced a reasonable goals-to-chances ratio of about 1 to 4, it could quite easily have been a seven or eight goal victory.
Next up it is the semi-final and, in a very satisfying way, the opponents will be Tomales, the team that gave AV its most shocking loss in years when they handed the Panthers a 1-0 defeat at Homecoming a month or so ago. This match will take place today, Wednesday, November 12, at Tom Smith Field kicking off at 2.30pm and given that earlier result the visitors will no doubt be very confident. However, having been given this opportunity to avenge the previous loss, I would like to think that the AV players will take care of matters.
If AV wins tonight, they will host the Championship Game on Saturday, November 15, again at Tom Smith Field kicking off at 2.30pm.
As always your support at the matches is much appreciated. We play exciting football and vociferous home crowd support is probably worth a goal a game! Hope to see you there. Come on you Panthers!
(Record: League (W/L/D): 13-2–1. Overall: 18-2-1.)