Vanden boys soccer team off to a stellar start
Members of the Vanden High School boys soccer team celebrate their win over American Canyon, Monday evening. The players and coaches credit the teamwork and pressure they apply to other teams. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)
FAIRFIELD — With any winning streak comes some luck.
Vanden High boys soccer coach Roy Darbison is the first to admit it, but maybe not the kind you’re thinking of.
“I really lucked out and got a lot of great players,” Darbison said of his first year at the helm of Vanden’s varsity squad. “I coach club soccer, and probably a good third of the team has played for me before.
“We play a certain style where we put so much pressure on the other team that we end up dominating the ball and the play and the possession. They have made it really easy for me. They are great kids and they work hard.”
The Vikings have jumped out to a 10-0-0 record (including a scrimmage win over Vacaville), the best start in school history, including a perfect 7-0 record in Solano County Athletic Conference play.
According to MaxPreps.com, Vanden has scored 29 goals in its nine regular season games, averaging more than three per outing, and is ranked 14th in the Sac-Joaquin Section. MaxPreps.com also ranks the Vikings 19th in the state among boys soccer teams that play during the fall season.
Darbison said putting relentless pressure on their opponents has been the winning formula for the Vikings so far.
“(The pressure) is really key,” Darbison said. “That high pressure, it wins the ball for us higher up on the field and we don’t even have to work from the back all the way up.
“When you get it in the back, it’s a lot more work from back there. That’s what I’ve been telling them. And it definitely keeps the pressure off the goalie. (Goalie Antonio Ramirez) is really stepping up.”
Senior Enrique Vega agreed with this coach.
“The pressure that we put on makes people get nervous and they start messing up on the ball and we overtake it,” Vega said after Monday’s 4-0 victory over American Canyon.”That’s the reason we’re doing good, we have a lot of team chemistry. We all know each other’s talents and the things we’re going to do already (before they actually happen).”
Fellow senior Patrick Dazo concurred with Darbison’s thoughts on his players really knowing each other.
“Practice makes perfect,” Dazo said. “We all grew up together (playing club soccer in Vacaville) and we all just glued together. There’s nothing that separates us. (Putting pressure on the other team) really helps us. If they mess up, we put on the pressure all the time.”
Darbison also knows all the players are different and he’s there to keep them playing as a team.
“They all have their own special personalities,” the coach said. “Some of them maybe clash a little bit, but that’s where I come in and regulate them a little bit. We have to sick together and stay positive, and through that, we’ll get the victories.
“We’ve had some tough game before. Last time we played (American Canyon) it was 1-0 and we came out a little more organized (Monday).”
And what about the Vikings keeping their perfect season in tact, including two key wins over powerhouse Benicia?
“Honestly, we talked at the beginning of the season after beating some of the teams that we’ve never beat before,” Darbison said. “They never beat Benicia before, they never beat Vacaville before, never beat Armijo. And after those wins, I told the guys, ‘I think we have what it takes to have an undefeated season,’ and all of them agreed.
Dazo is another believer in his team’s chances of a perfect regular season, an beyond.
“I think we can beat all of them, all of the way through the playoffs,” Dazo said. “We haven’t even played as good as we could have and we are already 10-0. I think we can do even better.”
The quest for a perfect season continues Wednesday when the Vikings visit Vallejo.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.
dixon scottish games 9_28_13
1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.