BROOMFIED — Preston Arguello had plenty riding on his shoulders when he teed up his penalty kick late Thursday night.
Not only did the forward for fifth-ranked Holy Family have the chance to extend his team’s winning streak to four games off the play. He also was in the position to do it against a league rival. But neither of those aspects crossed the senior’s mind as he led the Tigers to a 2-1 win over Peak to Peak.
What dominated Arguello’s thoughts in the 75th minute was defending his team’s home pitch — something the Tigers have done extremely well the past few seasons.
“This win makes it two years undefeated on this turf for us,” he said. “So it was a great accomplishment for us.”
Holy Family (7-1-1, 3-0 Metro League) had to put up a heck of fight to remain without a blemish at Mike G. Gabriel Stadium. Peak to Peak (4-3-1, 0-1-1) started slow, but pressured the Tigers at both ends of the field as the game wore on. But the minute Arguello got tripped in the box, he was confident he could put the game away for his team.
“I took it in and got cleated on the back of my ankle,” said the forward, who had also struck home a PK three games ago. “I knew all I had to do was stay calm and put it in the back of the net after that.”
The play was a relief to the Tigers. Before that moment the Pumas’ up-beat tempo had them on pins and needles.
“We knew that if they would have scored the last goal at that point it would have been all over,” said Holy Family midfielder Patrick Borer, who netted the game’s opening goal.
Peak to Peak regained much of its momentum from its early sluggish play off a picture-perfect connection between Daniel and David Griffith.
Daniel Griffith crossed the ball to David, who equalized the game with a lunging header in the 28th minute. The play and the following hustle the Pumas showed had Peter Chandler optimistic about his team’s chances in the match.
“We made some substitutions after their first goal that allowed us to get a lot of momentum back,” the Peak to Peak coach said. “And it made for an entertaining second half. It’s just unfortunate it had to come down to a penalty kick.”
The Pumas had one last quality look at goal after Arguello put Holy Family up. Taylor Callum played the ball directly to David Griffith’s feet, with the midfielder directly in front of the goal. But despite being in position, he could not turn to make the shot.
“We didn’t give up, we just came up short in that case,” Chandler said.
Each of the teams left the field certain that they would see each other again, when the stakes are higher. And the Pumas’ coach said he would love to get another crack at the Tigers in the Class 3A state bracket.
“The joy will be if we come up against them in playoffs and beat them then,” Chandler said.
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Holy Family 2, Peak to Peak 1
At Mike G. Gabriel Stadium
Peak to Peak (4-3-1, 0-1-1) 1 0 — 1
Holy Family (7-1-1, 3-0) 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Holy Family: Patrick Borer (unassisted), 12th minute; Peak to Peak: David Griffith (Daniel Griffith), 28th minute; Holy Family: Preston Arguello (unassited), 75th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Peak to Peak: Max Clark (80-2-5). Holy Family: Robert Hanley (80-1-5).