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River Valley soccer crushes Inderkum
Carvajal, Rahim lead Falcons to 6-0 win
Since meeting each other on the first day of soccer practice as freshmen in 2009, Castulo Carvajal and Milad Rahim have formed a bond they can't quite explain.
River Valley High's senior captains have the uncanny ability to find each other on the pitch at any time.
That comes with four years of playing varsity soccer together, not to mention their exploits as teammates with their Sacramento United club team.
In the Falcons' home opener on Wednesday at Falcon Stadium, Carvajal popped a ball in front of the net from about 20 yards. Guess who flew out of nowhere to head the ball in? Rahim.
When Carvajal's shot late in regulation barely missed off the crossbar, who cleaned it up to complete a hat trick? Rahim.
Rahim scored three goals, Carvajal added one of his own and two assists as the Falcons blanked Inderkum 6-0 in Tri-County Conference action to stay undefeated in 2012.
"The reason we have good chemistry is because we understand each other's games," Rahim said. "I understand when he's trying to make a run or stay back. We try to make the best out of it."
The two have been instrumental in the success of RV soccer in their four years with the program.
They helped lead the Falcons to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs in both 2009 and 2010. The latter was the school's first ever home playoff game.
River Valley (5-0-1, 2-0-1) fell on hard times in 2011, finishing near the bottom of the TCC standings. Carvajal, who separated his shoulder last season and missed the majority of TCC play, said the Falcons have bigger plans in 2012.
"That (2010) was a long time ago, but we have a pretty good team that can take the TCC and go even further this year," Carvajal said. "We just have to make things happen from the first minute to the last.
"We have to make our opportunities count because they only come once."
It took awhile for River Valley to find the back of the net on Wednesday as the Falcons committed nine offsides penalties in the first half.
The Falcons outshot the Tigers 8-1 over the first 40 minutes and finally had something to show for it after Alfredo Hernandez's goal in the 32nd minute.
Christopher Zamora popped the ball away from the keeper at the beginning of the second half and made it 2-0 River Valley in the 45th minute.
Rahim's aforementioned header extended the RV lead to 3-0 in the 50th and he added another score in the 58th. Carvajal made it 5-0 a minute later and Rahim completed the scoring for RV with yet another header into the Tigers' goal.
Rahim said he's ready to put the disappointment of last year in the past and wants one last shot to find redemption in the postseason.
The Falcons lost 5-1 to Center in 2010 and were eliminated by Rio Americano 3-1 in 2009.
"They say you learn from your mistakes and we're trying to make a correction this year," Rahim said. "Our team chemistry has built up to this. We have the desire and hope because we're seniors and we want to leave something."
River Valley's defense also shined in the victory, led by senior goalkeeper Triston Montoya, who was the Falcons' keeper as a sophomore in 2010, but took 2011 off from soccer to focus on football.
Now, he's pulling double duty as the Falcon's place kicker and keeper.
Third-year coach Abel Franco has his core group of seniors at all of the important spots.
Following a loss at Yuba City last season, Franco promised that RV soccer would "be back" in 2012. So far, the Falcons are backing up their coach's words.
"Things didn't go our way last year," Franco said. "Right now, it's happening for us because these young men know how to succeed on and off the field."
The River Valley JV team picked up its first win of the season with a 4-0 victory over Inderkum.
Sergio Maldonado, Gustavo Gonzalez, Giovanni Huichipan and Uriel Cantolan all scored goals for the Falcons in the victory.