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Trojans push magical start to 14-1-1 Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 28 2011 12:06 AM

The Castle Park Trojans return seven players from last year’s San Diego Section Division III championship team, and the leadership of the CIF ring-bearers proved critical in Tuesday’s South Bay League match at Sweetwater. Trailing 1-0 on a goal by SuHi’s Oscar Carames, the Trojans tied the score on a penalty kick by Alfredo Rodriguez and, suddenly energized, went on to score the game-winner off the foot of Victor Perez with five minutes remaining.

The come-from-behind win gave Castle Park a 6-0 first-round league record and 14-1-1 overall record.

“This win gives the kids a lot of confidence,” said head coach Jose Cobian Jr. “It was very important in terms of momentum for us.”

Cobian, who guided last year’s Trojan junior varsity squad, has moved up to the varsity position this season following the retirement of CP’s former head coach. So far, he likes what he is seeing on the pitch.

“This was a tough game for us,” Cobian said. “Sweetwater might be struggling as far as their record goes but you can never take a Sweetwater team lightly. They are only a couple of years removed from winning CIF.”

Overcoming the bumpy field at Gail Devers Stadium also was a challenge.

The game was scoreless through the first half. SuHi went up 1-0 on Carames’ goal early in the second half. Rodriguez nailed his 13th goal of the season on the PK with about 15 minutes to play.

The Trojans carried the run of play in the final 10 minutes, resulting in the game-winner by Perez on a booming shot from the top of the 18-yard box.

Helping spearhead the CP offensive attack was freshman Felipe Liborio, who had three goals in a 4-3 first-round league win over top challenger Southwest.

“The fortunes of Castle Park soccer are in good hands with young players like Felipe,” Cobian said.

The same goes for the present fortunes of the team. Senior right midfielder Javier Marcos is one of the Trojans’ returning CIF champions, and the season is far from finished in his mind.

“We want to win league, win CIF and go farther than we did last year,” he said in recalling an emotionally-wrenching loss in spot kicks to Corona Del Mar in the opening round of the Southern California regional playoffs.

Cobian said he feels his team has to be considered among the favorites to claim this year's division title.

"I've looked around at the records of the other teams in Division III and I have to think we have to be seeded No. 1 at this point," he said.

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