High School Soccer: Mt. Whitney boys, girls have good day on the pitch

High School Soccer: Mt. Whitney boys, girls have good day on the pitch

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High School Soccer: Mt. Whitney boys, girls have good day on the pitch

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It was a good day to be a Mt. Whitney soccer player.

Because of the poor air quality earlier in the season, the Mt. Whitney and Redwood boys and girls soccer teams will play each other twice in the same week.

The two schools decided to take advantage of the quirky scheduling and have the boys and girls play at the same location on both occasions.

Round 1 was at Mt. Whitney and the Pioneers made the most out of their home-field advantage.

The Mt. Whitney girls and Redwood girls played to a 1-1 tie.

The result wasn’t what the Pioneers would have liked, but they kept themselves alive in the chase for the West Yosemite League championship.

The nightcap was all Mt. Whitney boys as the Pioneers pulled away for a 3-1 victory over Redwood.

The Pioneers moved one step closer to qualifying for the Central Section playoffs.

WYL girls race wide open

Four teams still have a chance to claim the WYL girls championship.

Redwood is in control with an 8-2-1 WYL record, Lemoore and Golden West are each 7-3 and Mt. Whitney is 6-3-1.

Too much can still happen to try and explain the scenarios, but all Redwood has to do is win on Friday against Mt. Whitney and it is champion once again.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but we control our own destiny,” Redwood coach Jason Vieira said. “As a team, that’s what you want. I would’ve liked to do it tonight, but hopefully Friday we’re at full strength and can lock it up then.”

With the tie, Mt. Whitney needs two wins this week, and some help just to earn a share of the title.

“We played our hearts out today,” Mt. Whtiney coach Frankie Gonzalez said. “It’s a big task to try and beat Redwood twice in one week. That’s a heck of a team and a program. Everyone is telling me, all you have to do is win three games. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when you play them twice.”

Mt.Whitney hosts Hanford today.

The Pioneers found themselves in a 1-0 hole against Redwood.

The Rangers took the lead on a goal by Alyssa Castillo in the 10th minute, but the Pioneers didn’t go away, and Tatum Perez tied things up in the 68th minute on a shot off a corner kick.

Both teams had plenty of chances to score in the back-and-forth game, but Redwood goalkeeper Caitlin Owens and Mt. Whitney goalkeeper Kanisha Tucker each came up with some big saves.

Thinking playoffs

The Mt. Whitney boys headed into the week needing two wins to reach the postseason.

They got the first one out of the way thanks to senior striker Chris Angulo, who scored two goals. Angulo has missed most of the season with an injury, but has come back just in time to help spark a Mt. Whitney offense that has struggled to score goals.

“He creates things,” Mt. Whitney coach Rodney Aguiar said. “He has good speed so it’s nice to have him back.”

Armando Espinoza scored the third goal for Mt. Whitney (8-10-2, 5-4-1).

The Pioneers just missed out on a shut out when Redwood’s Cooper Allen scored with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.

Mt. Whitney plays at Hanford today and at Redwood on Friday so getting that one elusive win to secure a playoff berth won’t be an easy task.

“We hope to get in,” Aguiar said. “We talk about how if we get in there, anything can happen.”

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