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Eagles show defensive front strategies against Campolindo

on December 13, 2012

When Jose Ponce stepped off the bus at Campolindo High Wednesday night he knew he was going to have a good game. But what the Eagles goalkeeper didn’t know was that he’d have to duel a Cougars player eye-to-eye during a penalty kick.

With the clock winding down and the score already 1-0 in favor of the Cougars, a Kennedy defender committed a foul inside his own box. After a brief discussion by the referee about what happened, a Campolindo player took the free ball and smashed it towards the net. And in the blink of an eye, Ponce braced his body for the rocket-like impact of the ball as it careened off his small frame and bounced back into play.

Kennedy’s bench went nuts as they jumped off the frozen bench and acknowledged the true grit of their goalie.

“You just got to take a shot,” Ponce explained after the game about doing one’s best on the field. “I thought it was going in. But I just focused on the ball. I was confident.”

Kennedy head coach Aaron Colacion said he doesn’t want to rate his team after a loss but that his young squad feels good about how they performed. “They have a positive feeling,” he said. “It looks like they’re getting more confident together. We have three games in a row so I feel that’s making them feel like a team.”

The Eagles lone shot on goal came in the first half when Jose Tirado broke loose on the left wing. His attempt was nearly perfect as the Campolindo goalie had to dive to his left to stop the ball with his fingertips.

“That was a goal right there,” Tirado said of his attempt to put the Eagles on the board. “It felt really good when I shot. I was open.”

Kennedy’s assistant head coach Antonio Munguia said his team performed well and that he was pleased with their effort. “We went up against a team that’s bigger and stronger,” he said. “But we put bodies on people. If you mess up it’s just part of the game. Jump back on it.”

Kennedy’s next game is Thursday night at Pinole Valley High. Kick off is at 6 p.m.

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