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Diego Gomez scores two goals in Tiger opener

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Diego Gomez Scores against Banks in Boys soccer action at Voris Field Saturday
Diego Gomez Scores against Banks in Boys soccer action at Voris Field Saturday (Photos by Justin Werner)

The Taft Tigers took to Voris Field Saturday, defeating the 4A Banks Boys Soccer Program 4-0, thanks to two goals from Diego Gomez and one from former goalkeeper Sam Cortes.

A windy, sunny day in Lincoln City saw the two teams battling for control early on, with Banks attacking 3A Taft’s goal with the wind at their backs. Freshman Goalkeeper Joshua McCormick fended off all shots on goal, which became infrequent as the game progressed.

“I didn’t get much action,” McCormick said after the game. “That’s a good thing. Our defense played great.”

Second-year Banks Head Coach Jimmy Bogroff said he couldn’t sleep the night before due to the excitement of playing Taft, which he called a “playoff-caliber team.” Bogroff said his emerging team would benefit greatly from playing the Tigers.

Taft jumped to an early lead with goalkeeper turned midfielder Sam Cortes drawing first blood. The goal was Cortes’ first at midfielder, having moved from an exceptional career at goalie where he helped his team reach the OSAA Championships. The senior said that after having full view of the field at goalie, he knows where to go and what to do as a midfielder. In other words, the transition from goalie has improved his game.

Gomez, a junior, scored both of his goals in the first half to give the Tigers a boost of morale and momentum.

Diego Gomez Taft Midfielder

“That keeper is really good,” Gomez said. “I really curved the ball when I kicked my first goal. I’ve got the best team in the world and I wouldn’t change a single one of them. We have great chemistry.” Gomez was all over the place at midfielder and the accurate passes between him and Cortes through thick defense showed they work well together.

Junior Mario Cortes scored a goal in the second half, cementing the victory for Taft.

“It felt wonderful to be able to help the team,” he said. “This team feels like family because we’re all so close.”

Fifth-year Tiger’s Head Coach Ryan Ulicni said he’s happy with the teams performance and looks forward to another winning year of Taft soccer.

Taft Soccer Coach Ryan Ulicini
Taft Soccer Head Coach Ryan Ulicni

“We did fantastic,” Ulicni said. “The team did everything we asked them to do. There’s always stuff to work on, but fewer things than I was anticipating.”

2021 Taft Tiger’s Boys Soccer Team

Alex Islas GK 10
Joshua McCormick GK 9
Marco Perez M 10
Sam Cortes M 12
Angel Islas D 12
C Samuel Vasquez-Reyez F 12
Adrian Moreno D 12
Diego Gomez M 11
Alan Sanchez M 11
Jackson Nightingale D 9
Nano Sanchez M 10
Eli Jones M 10
C Juan Jose Lupercio D 12
Ezra James M 9
Axel Ortiz M 10
Isai Fuentes M 11
Keenan Mattias M 10
Colton West D 9
Josue Gomez M 10
Hayden Blair M 10
Mario Cortes M/F 11

Ryan Ulicni

Justin Werner
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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Newport wins rivalry match at Taft

A close game decided by a last-minute goal put a win in 4A Newport's column as they defeated the Tigers 2-1 at Voris Field Tuesday.



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