State

Waterford High star Navarrete leading state in goals

WATERFORD -- Waterford High soccer players Carlos Navarrete and Esteban Casillas rocked mohawks for their Monday game against Mariposa.

"They are aerodynamic," Casillas said before looking at Navarrete and laughing.

The hair certainly didn't slow them.

Navarrete added to his state-leading goal total with Nos. 41 and 42, and Casillas scored one goal to help Waterford beat Mariposa 5-0.

Waterford (13-0-5, 7-0-2 Southern League) and Mariposa (15-2-3, 6-1-2) battled to two ties this season before Monday's game.

"Any time you play Mariposa, you got to be ready," Waterford coach Barry Wixom said. "Our guys decided today that they were going to come out and work hard, and it's all about them."

Navarrete, a sophomore, leads Edwin Meza of Calistoga by five goals. Navarrete's offensive reputation makes him a target for defenses, as he was double- and triple-covered for most of the first half.

Although he was held scoreless in the first half, Navarrete said he sensed the Mariposa defense was tiring. In the second half, he outran three defenders to a loose ball in Mariposa territory and tapped it toward the sideline before using his right foot to blast a shot by goalie Chris Brownell for a 5-0 lead.

"We decided it was in our best interest to double-guard him, but he scored anyway," Mariposa coach Ray Gregory said. "He's an outstanding player."

Navarrete's first goal came just before his second, when he took a pass from midfielder Diego Espinosa and powered the ball into the net.

Navarrete has scored four or more goals in six games this season, posting five goals twice. He reaches full speed quicker than most other players and, at 5 feet 10 inches, has an advantage when jumping for headers on corner kicks.

"You have to pay attention to him for the entire game," Gregory said.

Drawing attention creates shots for his teammates.

After winning the ball from a defender, Navarrete dribbled downfield, drawing three Mariposa defenders. But before they reached the ball, Navarrete pooched it over their heads, giving teammate Edgar Gonzalez a one-on-one chance. Gonzalez bumped chests with Navarrete after knocking in his second goal of the season to make it 2-0.

"I like getting my teammates involved," Navarrete said. "I need to communicate more with them to get them involved. I opened up and distributed the ball better this game."

Mariposa played with its third-string goaltender in Brownell, a midfielder who hasn't played goalie in four years. Mariposa's starter sustained a broken jaw, and its second-stringer is academically ineligible.

"We were missing three starters overall," Gregory said. "Our goalkeeper has started the last three years so it was pretty tough without him."

Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at soxarart@modbee.com or 578-2300.

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