Santa Fe falls to Pierson Taylor, still seeking first regional win since 2003


Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:57 p.m.

ALACHUA — On Tuesday night, the Santa Fe boys soccer team was looking for its first regional playoff win since 2003 as it hosted its first playoff contest since that time.

However, the Raiders faced a Pierson Taylor club, making its 15th playoff appearance in the last 16 seasons. The Wildcats had also won an opening-round playoff game in each of the last five years.

Make that six.

The Wildcats ran past Santa Fe 4-1 in a Class 2A, Region 2 quarterfinal at Raider Field.

Kyle Crisalli gave the Raiders a one-goal edge in the ninth minute before Jose Rios scored three times as Taylor coasted to the win.

Santa Fe (19-5-3) which set the single-season school record for wins saw its successful campaign come to an end. The Wildcats (16-3-3) will travel to Crescent City for Friday's regional semifinal.

"I was very proud of everything that happened this season," said Santa Fe first-year coach Dave Silva. "I think this is a foundation we are going to start from. Now people are going to recognize us as a good program."

Crisalli perfectly placed his free kick from about 40 yards out on the left side, just under the cross bar and above Wildcats goalkeeper Gustavo Castillo. The Raiders held a 1-0 edge for the next 27 minutes until defender Alex Garcia made a play for the ball and took down Taylor's Elvis Paulino inside the 18-yard box. Garcia was issued a yellow card, and the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick. Rios buried the shot and found the back of the next on the left side to deadlock the score, four minutes before halftime.

After the break, Taylor wasted little time in taking control of the match. Two minutes into the second half, Francios Espinoza was operating on the end line on the right side and sent a nice pass in front of the goal. Rios was there for a header to put the Wildcats ahead for good. In the 64th minute, Santa Fe goalkeeper Joey Crisalli (nine saves) saved and deflected a shot from about 15 yards away from Paulino. Arturo Hernandez headed in the rebound for the 3-1 edge, before Rios netted his 44th goal of the season in the 78th minute. The senior forward ripped a shot from 17 yards out on the right side to just inside the far post for the final margin.

The Wildcats outshot the Raiders 13-4 on the night.

"I think we play real well under pressure," said Taylor coach Ricardo Jaimes, who is in his first year coaching his alma mater. "I think I had the most pressure being a first-year coach.

"I just let the boys just relax and have fun. It would have been a long ride home if we would have lost."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top