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Men’s soccer: Rams defeat Napa Valley 5-0 in opening round of Norcal Regionals

By Jonathan Bechtol
The Guardsman 

The 3rd seeded Rams defeated the 14th seed Napa Valley Storm 5-0 at the City Collegeʼs
soccer field in the first round of the California Community College Norcal Regional
tournament on Nov. 19th.

The Rams struggled at the start of the game to settle in and maintain possession, but they were able to find their touch halfway through the first half when they connected on a header off of a deflection to give City College a 1-0 lead.

After the goal the team turned into the aggressors, dominating possession and keeping the ball on their offensive side.

Head coach Adam Lucarelli was happy with his teamʼs management of the game. “I
thought we played real smart. We played a complete game…and we got better in the
second half” Lucarelli said.

With the Rams leading 2-0 they came out of halftime sharp, scoring two goals within the halfʼs opening 10 minutes and building a commanding 4-0 lead.

Near the 70th minute the Rams were awarded a free kick just outside of Napa Valleyʼs
box. Alfredo Castaneda capitalized on the opportunity, striking the ball
beautifully to the top right corner of the goal off of the keeperʼs hands.

“The goalie was guarding the near side of the post, leaving me space on the far side”
said Castaneda.

The Rams defense proved to be too tough for Napa Valleyʼs attack to penetrate. The Storm was held to few shots on goal and couldnʼt capitalize on the few opportunities they had.

Freshman defender Cameron Leaver, who was a vocal leader in the game and last wall for the defense, praised his teams performance after the game.

“Our defense has been the foundation of this team from the beginning…itʼs the
playoffs now and our ʻDʼ is really coming together,” Leaver said.

Though the scoreboard was encouraging for the Rams, the only thing that mattered was getting on to the next round.

“I just wanted to get the ʻWʼ” said Lucarelli.

The Norcal Regional tournament is single elimination and consists of the top 16 teams
in Northern California.

The Rams will play against the winner of the Taft College (#11) vs. Cabrillo College (#6) game on Nov. 22 at city college’s soccer field. Game time is at 1 p.m.


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