Academy Notebook: Goonies in training

16s complete a 4-goal comeback to defeat Real Salt Lake Arizona

They say the big stars shine in the biggest moments; Philip Hausen is no exception.

Hausen scored the last two of the 16s’ four second-half goals in their biggest comeback of the season, a 4-3 victory over  powerhouse Real Salt Lake Arizona. RSL-AZ came into the contest with a 13-1-2 mark, having given up just six goals on the year. A 3-0 halftime advantage for them this season has typically meant “game over,” but San Jose wasn’t buying it.

The Quakes caught a little luck to get the ball rolling, getting the benefit of an own-goal. Just six minutes later, Ivan Valencia brought the Quakes within a single goal, tallying his first at the U-16 level this season. Valencia has spent the majority of the year on the U-14 squad, scoring 21 goals in 15 matches, good for second on the high-powered offensive club. 

Goalkeeper Remi Prieur cleaned things up after a tough first half - the three goals allowed were the most he’d given up since Sept. 15.  Prieur denied all comers in the second half, keeping his side in the match and giving the offense confidence that he’d give them a chance. The defense of the 16’s has been playing at an elite level all season, and they proved it with a very timely second-half shutout. RSL-AZ came in averaging just over three goals per game, a mark that leads the Southwest Division and would lead the Northwest by a much wide margin. Hausen and his teammates weren’t impressed or intimated and when he scored the equalizer in the 70th minute - the comeback thoughts had become a reality. Ten minutes later, Hausen found the back of the net for his team-leading 11th goal and the Quakes put an end to RSL-AZ’s 13-match unbeaten streak. 

The 16s will be back in action Saturday the 29th north of the border in Vancouver against the team just ahead of them in the standings. The match with the second-place Whitecaps will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Simon Fraser University. Vancouver won the first meeting this year 4-0 back in September. Sunday, the Quakes will take on fourth-place Crossfire Premier at 1:30 p.m. at Redmond High School, northeast of Seattle. San Jose beat Crossfire 2-1 in the season-opener on Sept. 14. 

The 18s held the lead for nearly 55 minutes against first-place Real Salt Lake AZ before dropping a hard-fought battle 2-1. The team’s leading scorer, Juan Velasquez, got San Jose an early lead with his 7th of the season in the 15th minute. The match got a little chippy after that, seeing 7 cards total (6 by RSL-AZ) and one dismissal, Moises Rodriguez of RSL-AZ.  JT Marcinkowski and the defense held down the high flying RSL-AZ offense for 70 minutes before finally relinquishing the lead. The Southwest Division leaders moved ahead in the 82nd minute to seal the win and bring their record to 13-1-2 on the year. 

San Jose sits in fourth place in the Northwest Division with a pair of big road matches coming up next weekend. Saturday will be a noon showdown with third-place Vancouver, which sits just five points ahead of the Quakes in the standings. The 18s dropped a 2-1 tilt to the Whitecaps early in the year so revenge will be good motivation for a game with major playoff implications. Crossfire also stole a close one from San Jose back in September, taking a 3-2 victory to open the 2013-14 campaign. The Sunday match will start at 11 a.m., and the Quakes would like to add a little distance on the team right behind them in the division.

- Richter Media