The Cardinals lose 4-1 in the Valley Championship game, end season 16-5
BAKERSFIELD – The Cardinals easily strolled through the East Sequoia League (ESL) and Valley playoffs, before finally meeting their match in the Valley Championship game. Last Friday, Lindsay lost 4-1 as the Garcés Memorial Rams secured their third straight Valley championship.
The Cardinals put their best foot forward early on, as they controlled the ball at the beginning of the match. They got on the board first with a goal by junior Daniel Perez off a set piece.
The reigning, back-to-back champions responded immediately. Less than two minutes following Perez’s goal, the Rams scored a goal of their own to tie the score at 1-1 after the first ten minutes. Five minutes later, Garces turned the tide in their favor with another goal to put them up 2-1 before the teams headed into halftime.
It was their championship to lose from that point on as Garces dictated the rest of the game and outplayed the Cardinals. They scored two more goals in the 56th and 63rd minute to seal another title, and continue their unbeaten season at 14-0.
Both before and after the game, Lindsay head coach Tony Godoy’s message to his team was the significance of making it to the Valley Championship game. He’s in his sixth season with the team and has led his squads to three Valley title appearances with one win in 2017. Godoy deems this year’s team helped the program take another step forward as a result of their dedication to progression.
“I told the guys that this was the most fun that I’ve ever had in my six years of coaching. They were just so committed to the sport and to getting better,” Godoy said.
One of the team’s biggest leaders this season was senior Emiliano Corona. He led the team in points and finished fourth in the Central Section in goals scored with 36. He finished one goal shy of the school’s single season record of 37, despite having five less games than a normal season. He was voted as CO-MVP of the ESL this season and is committed to play soccer at San Jose State University. Corona is the first player under Godoy to go on and play Division I soccer. According to Godoy, the team wouldn’t have had any of their success this year without him.
Corona is one of 11 seniors that will be leaving the team this year. Despite losing nearly half of his team, Godoy still feels confident about the team heading into next year. Of the eight Lindsay players to make All-League first and second teams, four were juniors.