Vista Murrieta and Corona boys soccer teams battle to a draw
MURRIETA — Vista Murrieta boys soccer coach John Hanson allows his players to design and improvise a majority of the team’s set pieces because he trusts their instincts.
It worked again Tuesday night as Victor Becerra redirected a free kick from Carlos Lira into the side of net in the 44th minute to help the Broncos earn a 1-1 draw with Corona in a nonleague between teams off to sizzling starts.
Lira crossed the ball to the back post, and Becerra leaped up and nodded it downward. The ball glanced off the gloves of Corona goalkeeper Bobby Yanez, and then rattled the inside of the post before crossing the line for a goal.
“I meant to hit it with my forehead, but it connected right in the middle of my face,” an embarrassed Becerra said, laughing. “Whatever works, I guess.”
Corona (7-1-1) dominated possession during the first half, as the Panthers moved the ball forward with crisp passing. The Panthers had a few chances to score early, many coming off the long throw-in by defender Brennen Chanty.
“We saw that on film, but film does not do him justice at all,” Hanson said about Chanty’s throw-in ability. “We told our players not to kick the ball out of play anywhere in that half of the field because it becomes a scoring chance for them. I’d almost rather give up a corner than let him do that.”
Tyler Meckstroth was one of the targets for those throw-ins, but his header during the 14 minute was stopped by Vista Murrieta goalkeeper Isaiah Thomas.
Corona ended the scoreless affair with its own set piece in the 29th minute.
Francisco “Pancho” Gomez drew a foul from 25 yards out. Instead of crossing the ball on the free kick, Gomez laid the ball off to teammate Luis Burgarin, who fired a shot on […]