Curie surprises Lane, holds Indians to draw

SHARE Curie surprises Lane, holds Indians to draw

In one dramatic moment, Juan Ibarra gave Curie soccer a privileged moment.

The senior forward hit a left-footed arcing ball from 23 yards out that curved inside the far post as time expired in the first half as visiting Curie played Lane to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night.

Curie goalkeeper Jonathan Gomez was the team’s other hero when he stopped a penalty kick by Lane’s Jaime Lopez in the 45th minute that preserved the draw.

Not all draws are created equal.

Playing against a Lane team that has been the city’s standard of quality, appearing in four consecutive city title games, Curie (6-6-2, 2-2-1 Premier) achieved a new level of respect and achievement.

The game started as a one-sided affair as Lane senior forward Patrick Wojciuk scored in the second minute, suggesting the start of a dominant Lane performance. Instead, Curie dug in and began to counter the Indians’ attack with sharper execution and stronger possession.

“This is just our second year in the Premier,” Curie coach Leon Kim said. “We kept fighting through. We came into the game thinking we could beat any team in the city. I have 14 seniors, and their leadership has been great and that’s why we’ve been in games.”

Curie withstood Lane’s early pressure and began to assert more aggressively on offense. Fernando Davilla blasted a ball from 14 yards out that was just wide right.

The team’s best player, Emmanuel Martinez, had a header go wide left and had another ball sail just above the crossbar.

Ibarra broke through as time wound down in the first half. He advanced the ball down the left flank and created enough curvature and spin that it eluded the Lane goalkeeper.

“I couldn’t believe how I actually got the goal,” he said. “I just thought to myself the ball had to get there and it did.”

Fortunes appeared to change five minutes into the second half after Lane was awarded the penalty kick. Gomez alertly jumped on the ball and smothered it.

“I feel more comfortable going right, and I just always go right,” he said.

“I just got lucky.”

Lane (9-5-1, 3-1-1) was playing its third game in three nighst and fourth in five games. Like most teams at this juncture, the Indians are struggling with injuries. Starting goalkeeper Raudel Rojas missed the game after getting banged up against Young on Monday.

Lane coach Andrew Ricks said the Indians were not complacent once they got the early goal.

“We had some good possession time, but the issue is, as we talk about it, is meaningful possession time and knowing how to put pieces together and get at the end of plays and being able to finish,” he said.

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