Titans advance to semifinal with dramatic 2-1 win | PostIndependent.com

Titans advance to semifinal with dramatic 2-1 win

For the second time in four years, the Coal Ridge Titans boys soccer team has advanced to the semifinals of the CHSAA state playoffs, beating the Salida Spartans, 2-1, behind goals from Sergio Valentin and Josh Fulk, who was the hero in the second round win over Liberty Common last week.

Valentin scored in the first half on an assist by Ray Bencomo, giving the Titans an early 1-0 lead. After the Spartans tied it up, the two teams played a back-and-forth game into overtime until Fulk found the back of the net for the game-winning goal off of an assist from Luis Galaviz, giving the Titans a massive 2-1 win.

“This is an awesome win for us,” Titans head coach Michael Mikalakis said. “I’m very excited to be making a return trip to the final four.”

Thanks to tremendous defensive play from Miguel Navarro, Allen Sanchez, Jonny Espinoza and Ezequiel Contreras, the Titans have allowed just one goal through the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Goalkeeper Roman Plano added eight saves in the win.

“The defense has been playing very well during the playoffs,” Mikalakis said. “They are a huge contributing factor in our success in this playoff run.”

Not only do the Titans advance to the final four with the win, but they also redeemed themselves against Salida, who beat them 3-2 earlier in the year. Coming into the game, Salida was the No. 10 seed, while Coal Ridge was the No. 18 seed, marking the third straight game they were the lower seed and pulled off the upset.

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