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Valiants come up short vs. Falcons

Faith Bible scores once in each half to win 2-0
by: Miles Vance GOING STRONG — Valley Catholic senior defender Alex Vennes (left) goes up for a header during his team's 2-0 loss to Faith Bible last week.

BEAVERTON - Things had been going pretty darned well for the Valley Catholic boys soccer team in non-league play.

After all, the Valiants put together a four-game win streak between Sept. 9-23, matched their 2010 win total in the process, and appeared well prepared for the start of their 2011 District 1 season.

Faith Bible had other ideas, though. The Falcons, visiting Valley Catholic on Friday afternoon, scored once in each half and used their ball control and pressure to keep the Valiants at bay and win 2-0. The loss dropped VC's Dis-trict 1 record to 0-1-0 and their overall mark to 4-4-0, while Faith Bible improved to 1-0-0 in District 1 play and to 3-3-0 overall.

'It was just a lack of focus overall,' explained Valley Catholic senior midfielder Patrick Casale. 'It wasn't the right attitude going into the game we lost focus and that's what cost us.'

'They have great players, but we definitely came in feeling too good about our-selves,' said sophomore midfielder Zach Holden. 'We were a little overconfident in our abilities.'

For his part, Valley Catho-lic coach Brad Pollard said his team's performance may have suffered from simple nerves.

'I think it was just first league game jitters,' Pollard said. 'I asked the kids if they were ready, and they were like 'We're nervous.' That's not what I wanted to hear.'

Still, the Valiants held their own early on, getting shots from Sean Lee and Bjoern Westermann and a dangerous cross from Dylan LeMay that missed just wide.

But it was Faith Bible that broke through first, with senior Kellen Luey sending a free kick to the top left por-tion of the Valley Catholic penalty box. Falcon senior Adrian Garrido controlled the ball there, then struck a shot that found the net at the far post with 7 minutes, 5 seconds left in the half.

Faith Bible then wasted lit-tle time in the second half in expanding that lead, breaking through to make it 2-0 just 3:25 into the half. Luey got it done there, making a steal and taking the ball up the left seam toward the VC goal, then knocking a shot past Valiant keeper Nick Konen to the left post for the score and 2-0 lead.

The Valiants weren't quite done yet, though. Wester-mann's free kick from the top of the penalty box with 29 minutes remaining forced Falcon keeper Nathan Elder to make a diving stop, and with 19 minutes left, Westermann missed just right after taking a pass from Holden.

Valley's final chances came within the final 10 minutes when Elder stopped a pair of Westermann shots from the top of the box to preserve the 2-0 margin.

'I won't take anything away from them,' Casale said. They have 'good players, but at the same time, as a team, had we played together, we could have won. Simple mistakes cost us. We should have finished the chances we had, and if we'd done that, it would have been a different game.'

'We just need communica-tion,' Holden added. 'That's one our biggest downfalls. If we take what we need to do and focus and get our communication up, and once we have that down, we'll be a good team.'