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Boys' soccer sport shorts: Garces Holiday Soccer Festival

BOYS’ SOCCER SPORT SHORTS, 2011-12–
(For the previous game, check out the Boys’ soccer sport shorts: Fowler Tournament. Scrimmages do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for boys’ soccer features. For a simple overview of scores and upcoming games, check the Winter sport box scores, 2011-12 for dates, opponents and times for all Eagle sports.)

Be sure to visit the 2011-12 boys’ soccer schedule, home page, or check out Maxpreps.com. FC is currently 0-0 in the West Sequoia League and 2-10 overall as of Dec. 17. The Eagles will next travel to play Fowler to open up the West Sequoia League, Jan. 10.

BOYS’ SOCCER, 2011-12
GARCES HOLIDAY SOCCCER FESTIVAL, (Bronze Division)–Dec. 16-17
FC FINDS FOURTH PLACE AT GARCES–Dec. 17
At the Garces Holiday Soccer Festival, the Eagles played three games and finished the tournament 1-2, earning fourth place, Dec. 16-17.

For the first game, FC played the Avalon Lancers in a nail biter finish, Dec. 16. Austin Rurik, ’12, scored first for the Eagles, but Avalon was awarded a penalty kick to tie the game 1-1 until the end of regulation time. The game then went on to two ten minute halves where both teams were unable to score. Finally, came the PK’s as FC was able to find the back of the net and win, 2-1.

After being gone for two weeks in Israel, senior captain Josh Hopper returned to the field with two days of practice. He says this is probably why he suffered from a quad strain and a calf cramp in the first game.

“I wasn’t nervous, because I’ve been a starter for three years before this, so I’m pretty confident in what I can do,” Hopper said. “I knew I was a little out of shape because of my absence, but I didn’t realize how bad it would be. My body, frankly, just wasn’t ready. I got a minor cramp in the first part of the opening game in my thigh, then, in the second half I had an excruciating calf cramp that immobilized me for the rest of the game.”

Next, the Eagles took on Frazier Mountain, but came out flat and Frazier Mountain quickly gained control of the game, winning, 7-2, Dec. 17.

Since FC lost the morning game, they played for third place against the Mojave Mustangs, Dec. 17. Once again, the Eagles scored first, but Mojave was able to generate energy to knock in a goal. By the end of the game it was 2-2, forcing a golden goal overtime. The Mustangs proved too much for FC as they scored the game winning goal, 3-2.

Hopper says the tournament ultimately proved helpful for the team as they learned how to play under pressure and push through.

“Overall, we are doing well at slowing the ball down, seeing the game and striking but we can still do that better,” Hopper said. “When we get frustrated, we have a tendancy to rush the ball and force plays, which only makes things worse. A mentally challenging tournament like this one will definitely prepare us to bring it in league.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Fowler to open up the West Sequoia League, Jan. 10.

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