Yucaipa’s pressure provides first comeback win of soccer season

Alexa Corona out runs another team’s defender.

Kevin Delgado scored early and he scored late to help the Yucaipa High School soccer team to a 3-2 comeback win against Citrus Valley. The Citrus Belt League match was played in constant rain and cold at Thunderbird Stadium last Tuesday. With five league matches left, YHS keeps its post season playoff hopes alive by improving to 1-4 in CBL and 4-9-1 overall.

Delgado gave YHS a 1-0 lead in Minute-4 after he intercepted a Citrus pass and fired a hard grounder on an angle past goalie Adam Wakoli. However the Blackhawks tied the match with five minutes left in the half on Juan Zaragosa’s goal. Zaragosa then gave his team a 2-1 lead with a goal early in the second half.

“We start off really well but usually lose our concentration,” said YHS coach Dennis O'Neil. “Tonight we found a way. It was our first comeback of the season.” Yucaipa started off with a furious attack with six shots in the first nine minutes, but Wakoli earned three of his eight saves in that span. Overall, the Thunderbirds kept possession about seventy-percent.

Yucaipa’s non stop offensive charge eventually became overpowering. YHS senior Caden Mink made it 2-2 when he created a goal with twenty minutes left, setting up Delgado’s game-winner at minute-71 of the 80 minute match. Mink and Jake O’Neil had threatened earlier with shots banging off the top and sides of the net framing. Mink’s older brother, Gavin called it the best by Yucaipa all year. Gavin Mink was All-CBL last season but has been inactive due to a leg injury.

Delgado, a junior, credited his teammates with good passing which set up his goals. “When they passed me the ball, I believed in myself. It was an amazing feeling. I’ve never had two goals or a winning goal in high school.”

Citrus Valley coach Lee Hartley said his team simply did not put in enough effort. “They just worked harder than us,” said Hartley. O’Neil pointed out that his team now leap frogged out of last place in CBL. “This win gives us momentum gong into the second round of league play.”

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