Argos secure key league win

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BY TED APODACA: Garden Grove High scored two first half goals, then kept La Quinta at bay as the squad held on for a 2-0 win in a boys Garden Grove League soccer game on Friday at La Quinta High.

Sophomore midfielders Alan Samano and Pedro Cuevas each had a goal for the Argonauts, who improved to 3-0-1 in league play, tied with Santiago for first place. Despite the loss, La Quinta hangs on to second place at 2-2. After going winless in league play last year, the Aztecs are on the upswing.

BY TED APODACA: Garden Grove High scored two first half goals, then kept La Quinta at bay as the squad held on for a 2-0 win in a boys Garden Grove League soccer game on Friday at La Quinta High.

Sophomore midfielders Alan Samano and Pedro Cuevas each had a goal for the Argonauts, who improved to 3-0-1 in league play, tied with Santiago for first place. Despite the loss, La Quinta hangs on to second place at 2-2. After going winless in league play last year, the Aztecs are on the upswing.

“We’ve been working pretty hard,” Aztec coach Ozzie Rodriguez said.

La Quinta has several returning players and senior leadership that has helped them rebound from a tough season last year. Rodriguez said the team has been focused in practice and it has showed at game time.

After an early red card and the two goals by Garden Grove, the Aztecs struggled to get their focus back until the second half. They were able to settle in to play a tighter second half, but could not capitalize on opportunities. They drew a penalty kick on a foul in the box, but Argonaut goalkeeper Jose Vega was able to make the stop on a low shot.

Prior to the penalty kick, the Argonauts had an opportunity on a corner kick, when they set up a shot, but it sailed high. Other opportunities were turned away by the Aztec defense.

La Quinta also had chances, including a break up the sideline and a centering pass in front of the Argonaut goal. The Aztecs moved the ball in front of the net, but could not get a strong shot on the opportunity.

Garden Grove has been a solid defensive team that focuses on possession and ball movement. The back line is anchored by right back defender Derek Ayala. The Argonauts finished second in league last year behind Santiago, but tied the Cavaliers in their first meeting this year.

Head coach Matt Grenert said they had some struggles early in the year, but they are rounding into form in time for the final league push.

“Our [team] chemistry was off to a slow start, but we’re getting there,” Grenert said.

In other soccer action, the Santiago High boys soccer team has won three in a row since a Garden Grove League opening tie with Garden Grove High on Jan. 13.

The Cavaliers had three goals by Julio Galicia in a 5-2 win over Rancho Alamitos on Jan. 20. Isreal Celis and Jessy Sotelo each had a goal and an assist and goal keeper Adrian Covarrubias was credited with five saves.

The Cavaliers followed that win with a 4-0 shutout of Bolsa Grande on Jan. 22. Ramon Yepez had two goals, while Celis and Sotelo each added one.