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Soccer - Boys Varsity
Casa Boys Victorious in 2nd Round NCS

Emulating its girls soccer team, the Casa Grande boys have moved into the semifinals of the Division 1 NCS playoffs, for the first time in more than 20 years, with their upset Saturday night of third seeded powerhouse Windsor, 1-0.  The game was played under the lights on Windsor’s brand new, all-purpose field. 


Casa (14-8-2), an 11th seed, which won its first NCS tournament game 2-1 over Sir Francis Drake of Marin, had already shown earlier in the season it would be a tough match for the third seeded Jaguars.  In their first meeting in September, Casa, down 3-0 early in the second half, fought back to score two goals in the last 15 minutes and was pressing the attack when time ran out.  Their 3-2 loss proved pivotal for the Gauchos for rest of the season.  “It helped us psychologically,” says head trainer Lee Summerscales.  “To bring it to 3-2, and put Windsor on their back feet, gave us reason to take heart from our performance.  It took the fear factor out of the game.  Afterwards, in talking to their coach, he said he was happy it ended when it did,” Summerscales added. 


In Saturday night’s game, Casa caught an early break when a laser shot from Windsor missed the Casa net, hitting the goal post less than five minutes into the match.  But rather than let that near miss rattle them, Casa went right down the field and hit the Windsor crossbar with its own near-miss in the next sequence.  Much of the first half continued scoreless with Casa goalie Adam Thomason stopping every shot, including a point blank Windsor attempt from inside the box, and another in which he leaped to catch an overhead shot headed into the goal.  For the night, Thomason stopped ten shots. “Adam came up big at the right times,” Summerscales noted. 


Casa too missed a close-in shot which was stopped by Windsor goalie Chris Hernandez, himself a tower in the net throughout the evening. “He’s one for the future,” Summerscales stated. 


However, with less than a minute left in the half, Casa scored the only goal of the match.  It started when Eduardo Rodriguez intercepted a pass at midfield and dribbled several times.  He passed to Noe Michel, who was crossing in front of the Windsor net.  Michel saw Max Chappell arriving at the back goal and sent a pass to Chappell, who banged in what turned out to be the game winner before Hernandez could react.  And for one of the few times this year, Windsor found itself trailing at the half 1-0. 


The second half was much like the first.  Trying desperately to tie the game, Windsor pushed the pace, attacking as much as it could.  But Casa’s defenders, led by its midfielders Diego Jaramillo, Carlos Mejia, and Erik Cruz, were able to keep Windsor from pushing forward and advancing to Casa’s half of the field.  Casa’s defenders included John Greene, Tyler Scanlan, Edguardo Rodriguez, and Matthew Redeker also played an instrumental role in keeping Windsor out of the goal.  On the wings, Tommy Murphy and Alex Tarantino, were instrumental in Casa’s forward attack throughout the evening.


“It was a great game,” Summerscales stated.  Rather than single out the play of any one individual, he credited the entire team.  “When a team goes to Windsor and wins, it’s a collective effort,” Summerscales added.  “The team rallied around each other and they took confidence from each other and stuck together.”  He also took the time to praise the Jaguars’ performance. “I was impressed by Windsor’s ball movement on both sides of the field and in the midfield,” said Summerscales.  “Their frontline was outstanding.”


Casa’s next game will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Santa Rosa High School.  The Panthers moved into the semifinals Saturday with a 2-1 win over Terra Linda.  Windsor finished its season 18-2-4. 


Summerscales is looking forward to playing Santa Rosa.  “It’s a chance for Casa Grande to flex its muscles and show what a good team we have become. It’s one game and we’ll enjoy the event. We have no pressure because everyone is expecting Santa Rosa to come out on top. The winner will be the team that can handle the pressure and perform well.”


Head coach Ben Tarango voiced his appreciation for Summerscales’s commitment towards Casa Grande’s boys soccer team this year, as well as Phil Broughton, Eric Parish, and Ian Mork who were all instrumental in Casa’s success this year.