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Another tie for St. Francis soccer

St. Francis Golden Knights tally third tie, as finishing woes continue in winless start.

December 05, 2012|By Nathan Cambridge

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE — Ties are becoming an all too familiar and all too unsettling occurrence for the St. Francis High soccer team.

On Wednesday at Friedman Field, host St. Francis once again tied its opponent, resulting in its third draw in four games played this year. This one, against Ganesha, finished at 1-1 and, with the Golden Knights outplaying the visitors for long stretches and having a chance to win for the first time with a late penalty kick, coach Glen Appels was clearly unsettled once more.

“Another tie and it feels like a loss,” Appels said. “Whenever you see the other team celebrating a tie, you know you should have done better. It’s the exact same story we have had all year. We just don’t finish our chances.”

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With under seven minutes to play and the score knotted at 1, Ganesha’s Steve Caudillo dragged down Benjamin Gabella in the box and St. Francis (0-1-3) was awarded a penalty kick. Senior Christian Green, who anchored the defense all game long, took the shot for the Golden Knights, but Giants goalkeeper Christian Olivarez launched himself airborne to his left and turned away Green’s attempt.

“Keepers have to guess the right way, and [Olivarez] just guessed the right way that time,” Green said.

The rebound came down in the box, but the follow up shot sailed over the goal.

“We got down to a penalty kick and a rebound on the penalty kick and we couldn’t put them away,” Appels said. “We just talked to the boys, we’ve just got to learn to finish the game. When the ball is out in front we just need to kick it in. It’s about that simple.”

After that, neither squad came very close to scoring and the game ended without a winner or loser, a fact significant for Ganesha (0-3-1), which had dropped its first three games of the young season.

“We’ve been solid defensively,” said Appels, whose team has been limited to three goals this season. “It’s been typical of us that we’ve played terrific defense, we’ve had good possession, we keep the ball forward, we’ve just got to kick it in.”

The first half was scoreless, thanks in no small part to the play of Olivarez, who was rock solid all match, protecting the goal and organizing the defense in front of him, and St. Francis goalkeeper Luca Coppola, who had less to do but still came up big when needed.

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