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Miners keep pace in WYL with 6-1 win

El D has sights set on league title

12:00 AM, Jan. 30, 2013 EST

El Diamante's Cesar Flores leaps over the Redwood goalie on Tuesday at El Diamante. / Ron Holman

The El Diamante boys soccer program has never won a West Yosemite League title.

After Tuesday night's convincing 6-1 league win over Redwood, the Miners have placed themselves in a position to accomplish the feat for the first time.

The Miners improved to 7-2 in the WYL and 13-5-2 overall with just three games remaining.

They trail Golden West (8-1, 15-3-1) by one game in the standings, but control their own destiny. If El Diamante can win out, it would be guaranteed at least a share of the title.

"It would mean a lot to us," El Diamante's Brandon Gomez said. "For most of us, this is our first year on varsity. To win WYL or a co-WYL title, it would mean a lot because it would be our first."

Gomez did his part to get the Miners rolling against the Rangers with the team's first goal in the 19th minute.

Redwood took a 2-0 lead into halftime thanks to a free kick by Joey Chica in the 23rd minute.

The second half was all El Diamante. The Miners scored four more goals.

Jason Ruiz, Francisco Medina and Cesar Flores each scored for the Miners, and another goal came on an own-goal by the Rangers.

Redwood's lone goal of the game was scored by Joseph Blanks on a penalty kick.

"Our strategy to attack, once we get it going, it is hard to stop because we pressure all the time," Gomez said. "Some teams fold in the second half and I think that happened today."

The game was one that could have gotten out of hand for the Miners. The game got very chippy between both teams with plenty of extra activity taking place following the whistle.

But both teams kept their composure enough to avoid any incidents.

"It showed a lot of maturity," El Diamante coach Agustin Gonzalez said. "I think, as a team, we're maturing and peaking at the right time. They were going hard, we were going in hard and there were no retaliations. I just think we're maturing at the right time."

The Miners still have some work to do if they hope to accomplish their ultimate goal of winning a league title.

They close out the season with games against Lemoore, Hanford West, and the big one at Golden West in the finale.

Even though it is a young squad with only six seniors on the roster, Gonzalez is excited about his team's chances down the stretch. He says they're starting to grow up in front of his very eyes, and a big reason for that is the experience they've gained together going back to the summer."

"A lot of it is they've been together for a long time," Gonzalez said.

"We do summer league and fall league together. I tell them that they have a lot of experience playing together and they're playing at a high level. But if they want to keep it going, they have to stay together."




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