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BOYS PREP SOCCER: Lions, Jung dance their way into playoffs

03/04/2013, 1:28pm PST
By By MARK E. STRODER For The Californian

TEMECULA ---- Erick Jung may need to practice a little on his

TEMECULA ---- Erick Jung may need to practice a little on his dancing steps, but he's got plenty of good moves near the soccer net.

Jung, an international exchange student from South Korea, scored the game-winning goal in Linfield Christian's 2-1 victory over visiting Riverside Woodcrest Christian Tuesday night.

With the win, the Lions (10-8-2, 7-5-1) secured at least a fourth-place finish in the Ambassador League, which will earn Linfield Christian a spot in next week's CIF Southern Section Division VI boys' soccer playoffs. The Royals (11-7-3, 8-4-1) are currently in third place with one game remaining.

After Jung pushed the ball into an open right side of the net with 16 minutes remaining in the game, he did an awkward-looking one-man jig in celebration.

"A long time ago, I remember watching TV, and one of the South Korean Olympic players did a dance like that the day after the opening ceremony," said Jung, a sophomore who scored his first-ever game-winning goal. "I just got too excited, and that's why I did it."

Jung is one of a small contingent of male international students at Linfield Christian who play soccer to help balance a rigorous school curriculum.

"I have a lot of stress from school," Jung said. "But when the ball went through the net, bam, it all went away.

"When I scored the goal, it made me happy."

Everyone on the Lions side of the field shared his joy.

"(Jung) had started to tire out, so we put him on the sideline to get his head together," said Linfield Christian coach John Mitchell. "Within two minutes of getting right back on, he was right on top of the goal, and put it right in the back of the net."

Said Jung: "The goalie punched the ball, and there was a nice chance for me, and I just kicked the ball in here."

Linfield Christian took an early 1-0 lead after freshman striker Hunter Stacey took a crossing pass from Ryan Kisgen and nudged the ball through.

"I could barely get a foot on it, and it ticked off one of the defenders and went into the left corner, a little out of the reach of the goalie," said Stacey, who scored his team-leading 12th goal this season.

The Royals answered with 17 minutes remaining in the first half. The Lions were attempting to clear the ball, but it bounced off one of their own players, and over the head of Linfield Christian goalie Anthony Simeone, tying the score at one.

"We dominated the entire first half. I don't think Woodcrest got off a legitimate shot in the first half," Mitchell said.

Simeone, who only started playing soccer a few weeks ago, has been solid since taking over in goal.

 "Tonight we had only six guys on the field that have played more than two years of soccer," Mitchell said. "So, for us to make the playoffs is huge."

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