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Garcia Gets Winning Goal as Santa Ana Beats Servite

Was it or wasn’t it offsides?

Moments after seventh-ranked Santa Ana’s 2-1 Golden West League boys’ soccer victory over Servite, both coaches were still trying to answer that question. The play in question came with Santa Ana and Servite tied 1-1 with 25 minutes left in the game.

A through ball was picked up 40 yards out by Santa Ana midfielder Arnulfo Garcia, who dribbled down and kicked the ball past goalkeeper Morgan Janssen. Garcia’s kick was deflected by Janssen but not enough to keep it out of the net.

“I thought it was offsides,” Servite Coach Scott Cutshall said. “I can’t wait to see the video. But hey, what can you do? Those things happen.”

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Santa Ana assistant Sal Lopez said he felt fortunate the whistle did not blow.

“I have a doubt whether it was offsides or not,” Lopez said. “I talked to the referee. He said that right after the ball was kicked, [Servite’s defenders] pushed up.”

The questionable call made the loss that much more frustrating for Servite, which began the season with 13 consecutive victories. The Friars dropped to 19-4-1 and 4-3 in league, two of the league losses coming to Santa Ana and the other to top-ranked Saddleback.

“We’ve got 19 wins, but you need to win the big games,” Cutshall said. “We’re a good team. It’s just a matter of putting your opportunities in the net. Santa Ana did that twice and we only did it once.”

Santa Ana (12-4, 5-2) opened the scoring when Mario Gonzalez’s free kick found a streaking Carlos Nava, who beat goalkeeper Scott Lambert in left corner of the net.

Servite tied the score on a direct kick by midfielder Keith Buckley in the 50th minute and nearly tied it again in the 75th minute on a direct by Mark Kisting. But Santa Ana keeper Danny Morales was there to catch the rising drive.


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