Boys Soccer: No. 1 Miners reach Valley final

Boys Soccer: No. 1 Miners reach Valley final

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Boys Soccer: No. 1 Miners reach Valley final

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The El Diamante boys soccer team saw its memorable 2013-14 season coming to an end.

The top-seeded Miners and No. 4 Golden Valley were in a penalty kick shootout tied 3-3. All Golden Valley had to do was make one shot and it would pull the upset.

But the Bulldogs missed the potential game-winning shot and kept the Miners season alive.

Jay Halim stepped up and hit the game-winning penalty kick, and goalkeeper Leonardo Arreola made a diving save as the Miners outpointed the Bulldogs 4-3 in penalty kicks to pull out a 2-1 victory in the Central Section Division II semifinals on Thursday in Visalia.

“During the PKs and overtime, I said very little,” El Diamante coach Agustin Goznalez said. “I didn’t have to say anything. The guys took charge. They decided the order of the PKs and I let them do it because they believe in each other.”

El Diamante fell behind 1-0 early in the second half, and with about 10 minutes remaining in the game, Joey Chica found the back of the net for the equalizer, giving the Miners new hope.

“It was exciting,” Gonzalez said. “The boys never panicked and never gave up. Golden Valley scored early but we still had a good 30 minutes to tie it up.”

The Miners will host No. 7 Sunnyside in the Division II championship. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, but that could change. Last season, Sunnyside eliminated El Diamante.

“They beat us real bad last year,” Gonzalez said. “We know what they can do. They boys are excited to play them for something meaningful again.”

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