Garces Memorial wins back-to-back titles on home turf over Lindsay; a fourth Valley title for Rams
BAKERSFIELD – Same opponent. Same place. Same result.
The Lindsay Cardinals lost to the Garces Memorial Rams 2-0 in a rematch of last year’s Valley Title game. The only difference is the Cardinals kept the game closer than last year’s 4-1 score and the Rams took home a trophy for Division III instead of Division IV.
The battle of this year’s top two seeds was a tough match from the start. The Rams were able to quickly gain possession of the ball and score on the Cardinals in the opening seconds of the game. One quick header in the net was able to put Garces ahead of Lindsay. Yet the Cardinals kept battling to catch up.
Lindsay’s midfield tried to advance the ball but the Rams kept constant pressures on the Cardinals.
Lindsay’s Chris Macias almost scored in the first half, missing the net by inches. The Rams maintained possession and headed back the other way, dribbling past the Cardinals but missing the goal. As the last few minutes of the first half ticked off the cloak, Lindsay was able to hold the score to a 1-0 Garces lead.
“We did well not letting the game get out of hand because they scored really quick,” Lindsay head coach Tony Godoy said. “You see games where if a team scores that fast a second one is usually coming. I’m proud that we held them at 1-0 for 60 minutes which is more than anyone else has.”
Despite playing on the Rams’ turf, the Cardinals were able to get a lift from the fans who traveled south to Bakersfield. Lindsay’s defense, including a great play by Emmanuel Urbano to clear the ball, was able to keep the Rams out of the goal for most of the second half.
“Our season went really well, I really love this team. The freshmen stepped up a lot and the seniors helped them out to be better,” co-captain Jorge Villanueva said.
Garces didn’t score again until a throw-in goal with just 16 minutes left in the game. Lindsay responded by increasing its offensive attack, with one near miss on the goal. Ultimately, Lindsay wasn’t left with enough time to complete the comeback, handing Garces its fourth Valley Title in boys soccer.
After the loss, Lindsay players were confident the Cardinals will make a strong bid to play for a Valley Title again next year.
“The future of Lindsay soccer is bright,” Cardinals’ co-captain Daniel Perez said. “We have seven freshmen on the team and I think for sure that they will be back here again next year and again and again.”
The last time the Cardinals beat the Rams was at home in the opening round of the playoffs in 2016. Graces went on as the No. 2 seed in the Southern California Soccer Championships to host No. 7 South High School Spartans from Torrance, Calif. The game ended after press time.