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February 25, 2009 > Newark boys proving their place in NCS Championship

Newark boys proving their place in NCS Championship

By Tony Cogley

You might have expected the Newark Memorial boys soccer team to feel a bit of pressure since they were the only squad to have a North Coast Section (NCS) bid in the entire Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) for the first round of championship play, but Coach Rick Villa couldn't sound more confident.

"We came out strong and we expected to win," says Villa after his team beat College Park High, 4-0, during opening-round play on Wednesday night.

No surprises, the team's leading scorer, Alfredo Navarro, struck first with a goal just two minutes into the match, and added insult to injury by scoring again for Newark's third goal in the 25th minute; Manuel Villagran also found the net twice for the other two scores; and Carlos Contreras added another assist to his season point total.

Villa had nothing but positive things to say about his team and the way his MVAL rivals had played him all year, but he is forced to look forward as the team's hopes rest on their next match against Amador Valley of Pleasanton.

"They beat us before this season, so it is a bit about redemption," said Villa.

On a mud stricken field, Villa and the Cougars would get their chance on Saturday evening. The game was a lock until the 68th minute, when star Carlos Contreras scored for his first in NCS play. After Amador scored the equalizer a few minutes later, regulation and two overtime periods came and went before fans got to see a shootout.

A crossbar deflection for a miss by Amador set the stage for Contreras, and he didn't disappoint, scoring the final penalty kick, 3-2, sending Newark onto the NCS semifinals against De La Salle on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at No. 1 De La Salle, at 7 p.m.

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