With 25 of Tuscarora’s 47 goals to his name this season heading into the state tournament, junior forward Angel Ceron-Garcia has spread his reputation as a one-man wrecking crew to soccer fields far and wide this year.
Apparently that fame, however, never reached as far as Yorktown, home of the Region I runner-up Tabb boys’ soccer team.
Ceron-Garcia netted two first-half goals, including one that came less than two minutes into the game, and hounded the Tabb back line all night long to propel host Tuscarora to a decisive 4-0 victory in a Virginia AA quarterfinal on Tuesday in Leesburg.
The win puts Tuscarora (20-2-2) — in just its second year of existence as a school — to its first-ever state semifinal match, eclipsing last year’s run that ended in a state quarterfinal loss at Jamestown. The Huskies will face 11-time state champion Blacksburg (21-1), which beat E.C. Glass 8-0, on Friday at Radford University.
“It’s something amazing,” Ceron-Garcia said. “We had the opportunity to play in the semifinal for the first time, and as the first team of Tuscarora High School, it’s amazing.”
The floodgates opened just 1 minute 52 seconds into the first half, when Ceron-Garcia flew by Tabb’s last defender down the right sideline, took a touch and calmly drilled a low shot past Tabb goalkeeper Tyler Evans for the game’s opening goal.
The margin widened eight minutes later when Ceron-Garcia approached a bouncing ball just inside the box and ripped a blistering one-timer that sent the giddy Huskies student section into a frenzy.
“He’s a dynamic player,” said Tuscarora Coach Dave Gryder, the 2007 All-Met Coach of the Year while at Potomac Falls. “He’s very technical on the ball and he’s a finisher. Scoring that early was a good advantage for us because of the way each team was feeling each other out, since we don’t know them as well as most of our opponents.”
Ceron-Garcia’s ceaseless assault in the final third of the field drew increased attention from the Tigers (15-6-2) as the match wore on, creating a wealth of opportunities for the rest of Tuscarora’s formidable attacking fleet.
Chief among them was fleet-footed freshman Sergio Resendiz, who delivered the knock-out punch with a pair of second-half goals. His most spectacular — a scorching volley from 25 yards out that left Evans and the rest of the Tiger defense completely befuddled — came with 23 minutes 45 seconds remaining in a rout that never lost a hint of steam at any point in the second half, as the Huskies outshot Tabb 10-1 in the final frame.
Tuscarora, a squad with only one senior on its roster, also managed to hold Tabb striker Reilly Maw (35 goals) without a shot on goal.
●JAMESTOWN 5, BRIAR WOODS 1: The Falcons, who were making their first trip to the AA tournament, fell in Williamsburg. The Eagles advanced to face Jefferson Forest, 6-0 winners over Bassett, in the state semifinals on Friday.
Briar Woods finished with a 20-4 record.
●MANASSAS PARK 1, NANDUA 0 (2 OT): Alex Flores scored the game-winning goal with 90 seconds remaining in the second overtime period to top the visiting Warriors in an A quarterfinal. Silas Carden had the assist for the Cougars (20-2-1), the defending state champion.
Manassas Park will face Radford, which beat Virginia High, 4-0, in the state semifinals on Friday at Radford University.
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