East County Sports

Sultans, Norsemen earn Valley draw

Santana's Ben Sampson (8) and Valhalla's Ethan Molter compete on Jan. 16, 2018. / photo by Tammy Ryan - TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY


By Adam Paul




SANTEE – Both teams came into the opening league contest looking to gain the upper hand as both teams figure to finish first and second in league play when it is all said and done.

Early on both teams really went back and forth fighting for the ball jockeying for field position and also to strike first. The first excitement would come five minutes into the contest as the Sultans were able to get the upper hand in Valhalla territory. For the Sultans, Nick Valentine would fire a shot on goal which was saved by the goalie but the ball would deflect and Omar Nuristani would rush in and punch it in for the goal to give the Sultans a 1-0 lead at the 35-minute mark.

Santana junior star OMAR NURISTANI maneuvers against Valhalla Tuesday evening. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRyan Photography

The goal by Nuristani was his 17th on the season and puts him only one more goal behind TJ Perez who had 18 goals back in the 2011-12 season.

So working with the one-goal lead the Sultans went back to work and for the most part were able to keep Valhalla from having any chances. However with about 18:30 a foul was called against the Sultans and Valhalla was awarded a free kick. The Norsemen would take advantage of the opportunity as Kyle Gabrielson would punch it in off an assist from Carter Bouchek to knot the score at 1-1. The score would remain tied for the rest of the half.

In the second half, both squads went at it fast and furiously but with little fanfare as both goalkeepers came up huge for their respective squads. The Norsemen had a really excellent opportunity late in the contest as they were granted an indirect kick but the defense for the Sultans came up huge and blocked it to preserve the draw.

Both squads came into the contest neck and neck in the Division III rankings as Valhalla is ranked sixth while Santana is ranked seventh. Another reason why this contest was crucial to both teams.

With the draw, the Norsemen are now 6-1-5 and are 2-1-2 in their last six contests while the Sultans are 3-1-2 in their last six games.

Up next for Valhalla will be the El Capitan Vaqueros at home on January 23rd at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, the Sultans next contest will be Thursday, January 18th at 4:30 at Mount Miguel.


GROSSMONT 3, STEELE CANYON 3 – Both teams scored twice in the first half and opened the Hills League campaign with a draw.

The Cougars scored in the 20th minute, but the Hillers would answer six minutes later.

Steele Canyon (1-6-3) took the lead in the 35th minute to go up 2-1, but Grossmont tied it in minute 38.

Grossmont (5-3-4) took the lead in the 58th minute.

The Cougars tied the game in the 65th minute.


HELIX 2, WEST HILLS 1 РThe visiting Highlanders (5-5-1) trailed 1-0 at halftime but rallied to win the Hills League opener for both teams.


GRANITE HILLS 2, EL CAJON VALLEY 2 – The Eagles (1-9-3) earned the Valley League draw on the road against the favored Braves (5-5-1).


MONTE VISTA 4, MOUNT MIGUEL 1 – The host Monarchs led 3-1 at halftime and improved to 7-1-5 on the season by taking the Valley League opener for both teams.


EL CAPITAN 3, O’FARRELL CHARTER 1 – El Capitan (6-6-1) trailed 1-0 at halftime but rallied for the non-league win on the road to upset O’Farrell (12-3-3)

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