The Earthquakes under-16 Academy team completed a February to remember with a 1-1 draw against the Northwest Division-leading De Anza Force on Feb. 24 at De Anza College in Cupertino.
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski shut out the high-powered Force attack over the final 81 minutes, after surrendering an early goal on a penalty kick. The Earthquakes, who had a 2-0-2 record in February, tied the match on a goal by leading scorer Philip Hausen in the 72nd minute, after Cylus Sandoval was taken down in the box.
The improving under-16 Quakes (6-6-5) outscored opponents a combined 8-5 in February, after going 0-3 and being held scoreless in January. Hausen has seven goals in 11 games overall, two more than the club’s No. 2 goal scorer Alex Liua.
The Earthquakes under-18 team also got a strong effort from goalkeeper Austin Black in a 2-0 loss against De Anza, which improved to 3-1-1 in its last five matches. Black held De Anza scoreless for the first 56 minutes, but the Earthquakes missed on their scoring opportunities.
Just nine minutes into the U-16 contest, Marcinkowski was called for a foul in the box, and De Anza’s Carlos Delgadillo converted the free shot for his team-leading 11th goal.
But San Jose bounced back quickly and controlled a majority of the first half, and then surged again to start the second half. Liua had a few chances shut down by some quality defensive play. Sensing the tide turning, the Force dropped more players back on defense. Finally, the Quakes broke through. Cylus Sandoval was taken down in the box after a set play developed, and it was time for Hausen to do what he does best. After his penalty kick was denied, he scored on a follow-shot. The Earthquakes kept the pressure on until the final whistle but couldn’t get the winner.
The under-18s played a back-and-forth game in the first half against De Anza. San Jose (10-7-0) had the better of the chances with five corner kicks, but couldn't convert. The beginning of the second half was played in the middle third of the field as neither team could maintain possession. In the 57th minute, De Anza's Jason Romero took the ball off a long throw-in and guided in his team-leading 14th goal of the year.
Quakes leading scorer Elisama Padilla looked to return the favor with two quick attacks after the De Anza score, but goalkeeper David Garcia was up to the challenge. In the 88th minute, with San Jose pressing forward, the Quakes missed a chance on a corner kick. De Anza countered quickly and Rajaee DeLane scored the clincher in an unlikely manner by launching a volley from nearly 40 yards out, catching Black off his line. The Quakes’ lead in the Northwest Division is down to two points.
The Quakes will play this weekend against Pateadores and Strikers FC on the turf at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. The U16s and U18s will return to the Earthquakes training facility to host the LA Galaxy on March 16 and Chivas USA on March 17, with the under-18 games beginning at 11 a.m., and the U-16s at 1:30 p.m.