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Don Ketchum

Staff Writer, AIA365.com

Cortez boys continue to show soccer strength, still unbeaten

Dec 11, 2012

Only time will tell if Phoenix Cortez is building a boys soccer dynasty.

But it is looking more and more like it every day.

The Colts are the defending champion in Division III, won a title in the old Class 4A Division II in 2010 and finished as the 4A-II runner-up in 2009.

As for the new season, Cortez has yet to lose. Visiting Phoenix Northwest Christian was the most recent victim on Tuesday night (Dec. 11), going home with a 6-0 loss. Cortez is 6-0, Northwest Christian 5-1.

From the opening whistle, Cortez was in control, playing in the Northwest Christian end most of the night.

Freshman Juan Mora gave Cortez a 1-0 lead just 6:02 into the first half went he sent a shot toward the left side of the net that somehow eluded the Northwest Christian keeper. He would later score another goal in the second half.

Cortez had a 2-0 cushion at halftime, courtesy of Roberto Valenzuela’s header with 1:55 left. Valenzuela is known for his speed, dribbling and passing, but he can put the ball in the net when he needs to.

Valenzuela almost had his second goal just 2:20 into the second half, but his shot caromed off the right goal post.

The other three goals for the Colts were by Sekou Jabeteh, Christopher Villarreal and Daniel Adoo.

When Northwest Christian did manage to get close enough for a shot on goal, Cortez keeper Javier Molina was there to turn the ball away.

Molina has done a good job thus far following in the footsteps of now-graduated Jonathan Atencio, who was The Arizona Republic’s Small Schools Player of the Year last season.

“We knew we had to be ready for them, because we’ve had some close matches with them before,’’ said Cortez coach Jose Corona. “They beat us once last year and we beat them. But we’re still trying to take it one game at a time.’’

He was pleased with his team’s play, although he said the Colts played a bit tentative in the first half.

“At halftime, we (coaches) told the players, “Don’t be afraid. You have to protect yourself.’ It paid off for us in the second half and we were more aggressive,’’ he said.

Mora continues to make strides in his overall game. Some of that is due to the fact that he is a player with club experience. And Valenzuela, Corona said, is smooth on the field.

“He is a key player for us,’’ Corona said.

 

 

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