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VC boys team starts fast in league play

Valley Catholic's boys score four second-half goals to win 5-1 Tuesday
by: MILES VANCE, HEAD OF THE CLASS — Valley Catholic junior center midfielder Williams McAuliffe heads the ball away from Faith Bible’s Keith Armour during Valley Catholic’s 5-0 win on Tuesday afternoon at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

HILLSBORO - It took Valley Catholic's boys soccer team one half to settle into its new league, but when the Valiants finally got comfortable, they took off like a shot.

Valley Catholic, facing Faith Bible in the first round of 3A/2A/1A District 1 soccer play, led the Falcons just 1-0 at halftime of their Tuesday match at the Washington County Fairgrounds. But once the Valiants settled in and started playing their style of soccer, things changed dramatically - Valley Catholic notched four unanswered goals in the second half and pulled away to win easily 5-0.

'We kind of struggled in the first half,' admitted Valley Catholic junior midfielder Will McAuliffe, who scored his team's second goal Tuesday. 'But in the second half, the coach told us to pick it up and we really tried harder.'

'We talked about how they needed to use the whole field and they did it,' added Valley Catholic coach Ben Zolfaghri, whose team improved to 1-0 in league and 2-3-1 overall with the win. 'They came out and did it. We pulled out their defense and that gave us more chances to make goals.'

Faith Bible held its own in that first half, however, getting solid play from keeper Nathan Krig and enticing Valley Catholic into overpassing the ball. The Valiants finally broke through to take a 1-0 lead when senior Stephen Dvorchak took a pass from junior Brandon Kimball and netted it to give their team what turned out to be the winning goal.

Then, in the second half, Valley Catholic turned on the jets. McAuliffe took a pass off the opening kick of the second period, raced past two Falcon defenders on the right side of the field and scored just 34 seconds into the half to make it 2-0.

The Valiants boosted their edge to 3-0 seven minutes later when McAuliffe set up senior teammate Ben Johnson 15 yards from the Falcon goal and Johnson's hard shot beat Krig to provide a three-goal edge. McAuliffe set the stage again four minutes later, feeding Dvorchak deep in the Faith Bible penalty box and Dvorchak notched his second goal of the day with an angled shot past Krig from eight yards out on the right side.

Junior forward Leo Yamaguchi then closed out the scoring 25 minutes into the half when he struck a hard shot into the net from 10 yards out on the left side.

'We just needed to take more shots. We held the ball a little too much in the first half,' McAuliffe said. 'We just needed to take more shots, get more opportunities on goal and then score more.'

'We moved people around. They did very good,' Zolfaghri said. 'We have good players. But in soccer, you have to show up; you can't relax.'

The Falcons, who fell to 0-1 in league play, didn't have much in the way of offensive opportunities, but did manage a late shot on goal by Elliott Phillips that was handled safely by Valiant keeper Patrick Ihlan.

In upcoming matches, the Valiants host Oregon Episcopal School at 4:15 p.m. Friday, then play at Heritage Christian at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.