The FMHS boys varsity soccer team finished first in their High Desert League last week. They are (front, l-r) Kyle Kendrick, Alberto Esparza, Dallin Neeley, Justin Geike, Jorge Esparza, Matthew Mendoza, Jeremiah St. Jeor, Austin Carroll; (second row) Alec Fausto, Dani Mosso, Kevin Kendrick, Alex Onyshko, Ryan Raymond, Jose Echeverria, Angel Gonzalez, Jorge Pasillas; (third row) Taurino Rodriguez, Roby Worster, Elias Masud, Josh Ausherman, Mason Raymond, Hunter Lannom, Jake Piña, Thomas Paniagua; (back) Head Coach Joe Flores, Assistant Coach Brian Raymond and Assistant Coach Rory Worster. [photo by Laura Raymond]
The Come-From-Behind Story of the 2014 High Desert League’s First Place Champs
By Gary Onyshko, soccer team parent
Our Frazier Mountain High School boys varsity soccer team entered the last week of their season in third place. They had their work cut out for them to improve their position. Adding to the drama, the Falcons’ last two games were to be against second place Rosamond High School and first place California City High School. To notch the tension even higher, both of these teams had previously beat the Falcons.
Finishing first seemed improbable, if not impossible, to everyone except the coaching staff of dedicated head coach Joe Flores, who was joined this year by new assistant coaches Brian Raymond and Rory Worster. They believed their players could finish strong. The coaches inspired the team to go for it.
FMHS vs. Rosamond
In the first half, RHS aggressively drove at the Falcon defense. During an intense two-minute period, RHS made 3 shots on goal. All were stopped by Falcon goalie and team captain Alex Onyshko and ultimately cleared by team captain Ryan Raymond and forward Josh Ausherman. The Falcons held Rosamond 0-0 at the end of the first half. In the second half, with only 17 minutes left, RHS scored on a free kick but was denied a second goal shortly after that by a diving save from Onyshko.
Just 10 minutes later the Falcons answered when Justin Geike scored the equalizer on a pass from Austin Carroll. Then, with only two minutes left, Austin buried the winning goal from 20 yards out on a free kick, giving the Falcons a 2-1 victory.
Cal City vs. FMHS
It wasn’t until late in the second half of their last game, trailing California City 1-0, that Falcon offensive play began to shine its brightest. Josh Ausherman tied it up with a shot into the lower left corner of the net on a pass from Jorge Esparza.
Now the pressure was on; a tie wouldn’t do. FMHS had to beat Cal City to tie them for first place for the season. In an unlikely turn of events, Ausherman sent a bouncing pass back to Esparza who shot a 30-yard bender into the top left corner of the net, giving the Falcons the go ahead goal. After that an insurance goal was added when Danny Mosso scored on a pass from Elias Masud, giving the Falcons a 3-1 victory.
This is the Falcons’ first High Desert League championship in 14 years.
The first playoff game was against Corcoran High School on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in King’s County, 17 miles south of Hanford.
Update Note from Editor: Coach Joe Flores spoke with us while he was still on the two-hour trip back from Corcoran High School. The Falcons, he said, “lost it, 3 to 1, but it was still a really good game.” The first league championship in 14 years is a pretty fine consolation prize. Congratulations, Falcons!—PH
This is part of the February 21, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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