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Soccer team bests University High

Leroy Valdez takes a shot on goal during a recent UCHS soccer game. (Erwin Record File Photo)
Leroy Valdez takes a shot on goal during a recent UCHS soccer game. (Erwin Record File Photo)

By Keeli Parkey

A second half goal by Jose Ortiz and a save by RJ Phillips late in the game lifted the Unicoi County High School men’s soccer team over University High last week.

The Blue Devils (7-5) defeated the Jr. Bucs 1-0 in Erwin on Tuesday, April 18.

“RJ made an incredible save at the end of the game to keep a clean sheet and help us win the game,” UCHS head coach Justin Ciralsky said. “He didn’t have a lot to do during the game because we maintained possession of the ball, but that save at the end of the game was huge. It was also a great confidence booster for him going into the end of the season.”

The Blue Devils’ three midfielders – Samuel Murillo, Chris Andrade and Daniel Meza – also performed well in the win.

“They played well,” Ciralsky said. “Daniel and Sam helped offensively, and Chris helped us out defensively.”

The usually effective UCHS offense was held in check last week by the defensive scheme of the Jr. Bucs.

“UH packed in the defense like the other teams have done playing against us, so we continue to work on drawing the defense out so that we can get behind their defense and score goals,” Ciralsky said. “So, we need to continue working on our passing and the runs we are making.”

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The Blue Devils were scheduled to host Hampton on Tuesday, April 25, following The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue.

Their next match is set for Tuesday, May 2, at Sullivan South at 5:30 p.m. They are also scheduled to host Elizabethton on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m.