State

Senior's goal extends Tigers' season

PATTERSON -- Rodrigo Aldana will have another game to claim the Sac-Joaquin Section record for goals in a season, and being a junior he will have another full season at Patterson High.

But such is not the case for Edgar Martinez, a senior whose high school career would have come to an end with a loss Thursday.

So while Riverbank High was double- and triple-teaming Aldana, successfully keeping him out of the goal, it was Martinez providing the scoring punch. His goal three minutes into the first overtime session gave the Tigers a 2-1 victory over the Bruins in a Division V semifinal.

"I think we play as a team and don't rely on one person too much," Rodriguez said. "It feels good to win this and not have this be my last game in my last season."

Patterson (22-3-1) will meet Linden for the section title Monday night at 7 p.m. at Lincoln High in Stockton. Riverbank, the Trans-Valley League champ, completed a 15-6-6 season, but only after holding the area's top scoring attack in check.

Patterson broke through in the 29th minute, with Aldana's short feed to Polo Rangel resulting in an 18-yard blast by Rangel into the left side of the net.

"Rodrigo had to turn into an assist guy today," said Patterson coach Greg Hartsell. "Being the state scoring leader comes with a lot of double- and triple-teams, and he did a great job distributing the ball. It's been tough for him in the playoffs."

It was the 13th assist of the season for Aldana to go with his 54 goals. The section record of 55 was set last year by Carlos Navarrete of Waterford, who transferred to Johansen for his senior year.

Riverbank capitalized on midfield indecision to score the equalizer in the 43rd minute. When two Tigers defenders tripped at midfield, Bruin sophomore Christian Albor was off to the races, easily beating Patterson goalkeeper Luis Torres when he came out of the net a bit early.

"We knew Riverbank had a lot of speed up front and we had to key on their two forwards because we knew they were dangerous," Hartsell said.

Bruins goalkeeper Hugo Calderon made several spectacular plays to send it into overtime, but had no chance to stop the game-winner by Martinez, which came on a pass from Bryan Navarro.

At the time of the game-winner, Martinez was one of only three seniors on the field for Patterson.

"I've been having trouble fitting into the offense, but I saw the opportunity and I took advantage of it," Martinez said. "I really wanted to score in my last home game."

Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at bvanderbeek@modbee.com or 578-2300.

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