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Vista soccer team headed to third straight section final with 1-0 win over Lincoln

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Cody Sherfy put Vista del Lago in the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section championship game for the third straight year, but he won’t be able to help the team in its quest for a third straight title.

Sherfy scored the game’s only goal just seven minutes into Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Lincoln and nine minutes later was red-carded for spiking a Lincoln player on a tackle. For Sherfy, it was a quick swing in emotion, from sheer joy to anger and disbelief.

“It was great to get the goal and a big relief for the team,” Sherfy said. “It pumped us up and we were pushing hard. It was devastating to get the card. I’m a senior and to not be able to play in my last game is disappointing. I knew a card was coming, but I was shocked that it was red. I was playing as hard as I could, but I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”

Vista, the top seed in the tournament, controlled things early in the game and the goal by Sherfy proved to be all they needed. Nick Michaels got the assist on Sherfy’s goal with a nice move with the ball and pass and Sherfy took care of the rest.

“It was a team effort,” Sherfy said. “The ball was built up in the back and Nick got the ball up to me at about the 18. I carried it a bit and put it in the bottom right corner.”

When Sherfy got the red card just 17 minutes into the game, it was a good thing that the Eagles had the lead. Needing a goal when you’re playing 10-against-11 is not an easy thing to get.

“Being a man down is hard physically and the boys did a good job with it,” Vista coach Joe Esfandiary said. “Basically, we had Alex (Ford) up front and he single-handedly was able to hold four or five guys in their half of the field. He spent a lot of energy to do that and that was key, as it allowed the rest of the team to become more defensive minded.”

“We banned together and overcame it,” Sherfy said of his teammates’ play after his red card.

Vista keeper P.J. Sullivan was solid in net. While he didn’t have to make any spectacular saves, he had several touches on the ball and played a clean game. His defense in front of him, Jarrett Giordano, Michael Le Page, Daniel Jacobs and Brent Zavada, got the job done as well.

The Eagles, 13-2-2 on the season, face a familiar opponent at noon Saturday at Cosumnes Oaks High School, as they will do battle with Sierra Valley Conference rival Galt (17-3-1) for the Division IV title. The teams met twice in league play, the Warriors winning the first game at home, 2-1, and the Eagles taking the second game at home, 2-0.

“There was a lot of talk last time, but we put that behind us and focused on the game,” Sherfy said. “We beat them the second time we played them and we felt we should have beaten them the first time. It should turn out to be a good game on Saturday.”

Esfandiary added, “We’re looking forward to playing them. We know them and they know us so I think the team that makes the least mistakes will win. I don’t want any of that nonsense and trash talk. The only talking I want is team talk. This is a gentlemen’s sport and I want us to play soccer and do what we do best.”

The Eagles will be going for their third straight section title, having won the Division IV championship in 2010 with a 3-2 win over Central Valley and in 2011 with a 2-0 victory against East Union.