NATHANIEL MATA | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR
The Valley View Tigers faced maybe their toughest competition of the season Friday night. The No. 5 state ranked Tigers continued their dominance in District 31-5A with a 6-2 victory over previously undefeated Laredo Nixon.
The action was furious early. Valley View (7-0) threatened with a shot on goal less under one minute into the match. Before long, the scoring followed the shots. Tigers freshman Jorge Amaya opened the scoring five minutes in with a shot that grazed both posts before tucking behind Laredo Nixon’s keeper.
Nixon (6-1) responded in less than a minute with a goal of its own, created from a miscue in Valley View’s backline. The conceded goal was one of the Tigers’ rare mistakes in the match.
JP Cantu gave the lead back to the home side with a well-placed strike over the keeper’s reach.
The Tigers added an insurance goal in the flurry of offense in early stages of the first half. With 24:59 to play, Amaya’s free kick was untouched in a crowd and found the back of the net. His second goal pushed the lead to 3-1.
“I was looking for the rest of the team. I shot for that goal, and luckily it went in for a big goal,” Amaya said. “Everyone’s committed 100 percent, and we know if we want to get to state, we can’t slack off practice. So we’re 100 percent ready for any team that comes in our way.”
The home side was rarely tested on defense, but goalkeeper Mario Elizondo came up with big stops when needed. With 22:53 left in the first half, saved a pair of shots from close range. His best save of the night came on a redirection with about 14 minutes to play in the first half.
Elian Chavez played goalie during in the second half. He saw even less action, only being beat by a penalty kick.
The next tally was from Damian Magallan Jr., who put his team up 4-1 with a smooth finish in point-blank range. The senior’s night took a turn early, as he was booked for a yellow card in the game’s first five minutes. He was substituted out, but he didn’t stay on the bench for long.
“It caught me off guard that I got a yellow card,” Magallan Jr. said. “When I came (back) in, I came in with a new mind that I’ll be playing safe. The best thing about our offense is that we play as a team. Nobody is going to get the ball and try to do it all themselves. Everybody touches the ball, and the one who has the best position will be the one to score.”
At 14:16, Mario de los Santos continued the rout, adding a chip shot over the goalkeeper, pushing the lead to four. With 9:26 remaining, de los Santos doubled his output on the night with another tally from the left attacking side, making the score 6-1.
Nixon added a goal off a penalty kick in the game’s final minute.
Valley View coach Damian Magallan Sr. spoke about the team’s primary goal: being alone on top of 5A soccer in April.
“The kids are focused on winning a state title,” Magallan said through an interpreter. “We really were already looking at advancing in the playoffs and going for that state title, because we’ve been so close. Every game you get flow, you get momentum. Every game has to be blending in order to achieve what you want at the state tournament.”
Valley View will look to stay undefeated on Tuesday when it visits Mission Veterans.