West knocks off Lincolnton
The West Caldwell Warriors concluded their regular season with a 5-0 victory over Lincolnton to claim a share of the Southern District 7 2A Athletic Conference on Wednesday in Gamewell.
"Winning the conference is great for the program and great for the guys," West head coach Thomas Clark said. "As a coach, it's a great feeling because I know how hard they've been working all year. It was one of our goals to win the conference."
The Warriors finish in a tie for first place with Newton-Conover. The two teams each finished with a conference record of 11-1-1 and split the season series. A coin flip will decide the number one seed for the state playoffs.
West got on the board at the 24:10 mark of the first half when the Warriors were granted a penalty kick after Jonathan Cruz-Nava was fouled in the box. Grant Barnette converted the penalty kick to put West up1-0.
Seven minutes later, Ivan Jantes scored the first of his two goals on the night when he headed a throw-in from Grant Barnette to put the Warriors ahead 2-0 at the half.
Jantes gave West a three-goal lead less than three minutes into the second half. Victor Peralta put a pass out in front of Jantes and Jantes got past the defense and beat the Lincolnton goalkeeper for the score.
Six minutes later, a Barnette throw-in deflected off a Lincolnton defender and bounced directly to Cesar Cruz-Nava. Cruz-Nava placed a shot to the lower right corner of the net to give the Warriors a commanding 4-0 lead. Jonathan Cruz-Nava finished off the scoring at the 14:33 mark. Alex Hernandez took a corner kick and after a few deflections, Cruz-Nava fired the shot for the goal.
West goalkeeper Roger Perez made five saves in the shutout.
"I knew we could score on them," Clark said. "We worked all practice on playing against their four back defense. I didn't expect a shutout against them though. That's nothing against our defense, it's a compliment to how good a team Lincolnton is."
The Warriors now wait to hear their opponent for the first round of the 2A state playoffs.