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September 11, 2012 > Elite Eagles Soar in Labor Day Invitational

Elite Eagles Soar in Labor Day Invitational

By Alex Ebarle

The Elite Eagles soccer team competed as part of 10 Boys U19 teams in the 33rd Annual Labor Day Invitational held in Newark. With a convincing 3-0 victory over San Francisco Napoli in their first match, Elite Eagles followed up with a 2-0 shutout over the Vallejo Chelsea. In their third outing, they defeated a strong Madera Redstar Coyote's squad 1-0.

This set up a battle for local bragging rights between the Newark Argonauts and Elite Eagles. The Newark Argonauts advanced to the final with wins over the Mission SF Aztecs, Mt. Hamilton Tigres, and Clovis Crossfire. Both the Elite Eagles and Newark Argonauts are part of Newark Soccer Club's competitive soccer program referred to as Newark Elite.

The upstart Eagles struck first and convincingly with a shot launched from about 40 yards out. The Argonaut keeper could only admire the vapor trail extending from striker Juan Olvera Venegas' boot as the ball sailed through the upper shelf, dead center into the back of the net. The Elite Eagles sideline and players on the pitch erupted with the triumph of the moment.

The Argonauts were eventually able to capitalize on a rare mistake in the Elite Eagles defense that had only allowed a single goal in four outings. The Argonaut sideline and their players celebrated as they sensed the momentum could be shifting their way.

With the match knotted at one goal apiece, Elite Eagles scored a second goal nearly identical to their first. The airstrike was launched from about 35 yards out from the right foot of Olvera Venegas again. The ball sailed through the Argonaut defense to the upper center of the back of the net, almost identical to the first goal. As the sounds of joy rose up from the Elite Eagles players and fans, all sensed they had just witnessed the game winner. They were correct; the Elite Eagles defeated the Newark Argonauts in a tough, physical battle. The final tally: 2-1.

Coach Jose Ramirez attributed the success of the Elite Eagles to a total team effort. The near perfect defense throughout the tournament included dominant performances from defenders Sergio Cruz (1 goal), Juan Jauregui, Valerio Ruelas, and Derick Rivas. Elite Eagles keeper, Jaime Guzman, contributed to the dominance with countless saves, including a blocked PK from the mark. The midfield excelled with strong performances from Jacob Dougherty (1 Goal, 1 Assist), Jesus Nevarez, Jason Guevara (1 Assist), Jorge Rodriguez, Eric Gomez, David Rodriguez, Juan Sanchez, Alvaro Barrajas, Omar Fajardo, and Edgar Unzueta. Juan Olvera Venegas (3 Goals, 2 Assists) and Jose Andrade (3 Goals) left opposing defenses in the dust. Other team members contributing to the tournament victories include Moises Gonzalez, Jordan Thomas, Luis Rodriguez, Jose Banuelos, Victor Perez, Israel Cozar, and Derek Casey.

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