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Boys Soccer: Mount Carmel’s Farias comes up big in win over St. Laurence

By Steve Millar
Correspondent

Sophomore goalkeeper Efrain Farias saved Mount Carmel’s win over St. Laurence on Sept. 21.

Farias stopped a penalty kick with under two minutes to go to preserve a 2-1 victory for the visiting Caravan in a big Catholic League Blue game.

Mount Carmel (6-3, 1-1) led 2-0 before St. Laurence (8-3, 1-2) came storming back. The Vikings had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Andres Lemus was fouled in the box with 1:55 to go.

Jessie Cardiel took the penalty kick, but Farias denied him, lunging to his right to knock the shot away with his hand.

“I was talking to him at the beginning, trying to get him scared and clapping at him,” Farias said. “I listened to one of my players say he was going to go that way. I put my trust in him. As soon as he shot it I went for it and it hit my left hand. It was a good save.”

Farias and his teammates began jumping up and down and sharing hugs.

“It feels good,” Farias said. “Once they cleared it out, we were celebrating and that felt good to celebrate with the team.”

Mount Carmel struck first in the 31st minute when Irving Moreno drew a foul in the box and Marco Antonio Valencia converted the penalty kick.

“It was a tough game,” Moreno said. “We were controlling the middle. Me and Christian Leon were communicating good in the middle and that’s what led us to the first goal. I committed to my run. Christian was like, ‘Go for it, I’ll stay back and defend.’ I went for it, I cut back and ‘boom,’ penalty.”

Valencia ripped a perfectly placed line drive under the crossbar on the penalty kick to make it 1-0.

Moreno made an impact again in the second half, with the help of a fortunate bounce.

After Andrew Torres sent a long pass into the box, it deflected off Moreno’s head, off a defender, off the back of Moreno’s head and in to make it 2-0 with 32:20 to go.

“What can I say? How lucky can I get? It went off the back of my head and it went in,” Moreno said. “I turned around, I heard the fans cheering and I was like, ‘I’ll take it.’

“I love these types of games. I live for these types of games.”

St. Laurence battled back as Bryan Rivera took a throw-in from Edgar Perez and fired from 45 yards out along the sideline, stunning the Caravan with a high, looping shot that found its way inside the far post to make it 2-1 with 19:50 left.

The Vikings then appeared set to tie it when Cardiel’s pass found Lemus in the box and Lemus was taken down to earn the penalty kick.

Farias, though, had other ideas.

“I’d rather us not bury ourselves in those holes,” St. Laurence coach Jaime Alonso said. “The first goal was 100 percent our fault. The second one was a little unlucky. I’m glad that we reacted the way we did. We adjusted, put ourselves in a good situation and we missed. I told (Cardiel) the only players that don’t miss PKs are the ones who don’t take them.

“Their goalie made a big play. He owned the moment.”

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