Given the suspension of athletics in the county, the Daily Journal decided to dive into our 20-year archives to bring readers some of our favorite stories over the years.
FEB. 20, 2014 — Noel Magallon, the goalkeeper for the South City boys’ soccer team, had been a field player his entire soccer career.
This year is Magallon’s first season between the posts, but he plays the position as if he has been there his entire life.
Magallon made 14 saves — including a trio of reaction kick saves — to help the Warriors beat visiting Hillsdale 3-0 at Skyline College Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s been like that all season,” said Warriors captain Danny Basulto. “So we just expect it now.”
As well as Magallon — and the South City defensive line — played, the best the Warriors could have done was a scoreless tie. But thanks to Basulto, South City stayed alive in the chase for the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division title and the division’s automatic Central Coast Section berth.
South City came into the match trailing first-place El Camino by six points and with South City’s win Wednesday, the Warriors closed the gap by three points. Both teams have one game remaining, but the Warriors do not control their own destiny. If El Camino beats Hillsdale Friday afternoon, the Colts win claim the crown, regardless of what happens in South City’s final regular season game.
If nothing else, however, the Warriors kept the pressure on their rivals with Wednesday’s victory. Hillsdale controlled the run of play early, putting pressure on the South City defense. The Knights had nine shots in the first half — eight on frame — but could not find the back of the net.
“We dominated, but we couldn’t score,” said Hillsdale coach Andy Hodzic, adding his forwards have scored only twice all season long. “It’s been our story all year.”
It took a while for the Warriors to get their offense in gear and they had a couple of dangerous crosses that did not pay dividends.
But in the 27th minute, the game turned. Basulto chased down a ball in the Hillsdale penalty and tried to draw a foul by taking a dive. When the referee didn’t bite, Basulto bounced back up, kept control and, as he set up to send a cross, he was fouled, this time earning the penalty kick.
“That second one, I didn’t expect [to be fouled in that position],” Basulto said.
Basulto lined up to take the spot kick and buried it high in the left corner for a 1-0 South City lead.
Just two minutes later, the Warriors struck again, with Basulto setting it up. He received a pass on the right flank and carried it to the end line. His cross to the front of the goal found a pair of unmarked teammates crashing. It was Luis Perez who connected, hitting the ball on the volley to give the Warriors a two-goal lead.
It was more of the same in the second half — Hillsdale getting its looks but failing to capitalize, while the Warriors continued their offensive onslaught.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, South City all but put the Knights away, again with Basulto right in the middle of it. He received a pass just past midfield and quickly sent a long, diagonal pass to the left flank. Jerry Barajas chased it down and, after a couple touches, sent a cross into the Hillsdale penalty box.
Basulto, who continued his run after making his initial pass, was on the receiving end of Barajas’ cross. Hillsdale goalkeeper Michael Golden came off his line and smothered Basulto’s first shot, but Basulto stayed with the play and, when the rebound bounced behind Golden, Basulto was there to fire a shot into an empty net to put the Warriors up 3-0.
After that, it was Magallon who kept the score that way. Twice Hillsdale’s Alexis Estrella found himself unmarked at the back post and twice crosses found him. He hit both of them on the volley and each time Magallon denied him with kick saves.
“He was very good,” Hodzic said of Magallon’s play.