Wonders end season with victory

Now that's more like it.

A night after the Nevada Wonders play possibly their worst game of the year, they went out in style on Saturday with a 2-0 win over the California Gold of Modesto at Edmonds Park. Abraham Martinez came off the bench in the second half to give the Wonders a lift, contributing to both goals as he scored one and had an assist on the other.

After dominating the first half without breaking through, the Wonders scored two short-handed goals in the second half as they had to play almost the entire half with 10 players after an ejection.

The Wonders finished the season with a 6-11-1 mark, a considerable improvement over their first season last year when they won one and tied one.

"It's a big improvement from last year," Wonders coach Paul Aigbogun said. "I think we did better than the results show. Six wins and a time isn't bad."

The Wonders outshot the Gold 14-3 in the first half, but wasted numerous golden chances. The Wonders were actually outshot 12-6 in the second half, but thanks to Martinez were able to break through.

"I was trying to go out and give it my best, give them a boost," Martinez said. "I thought I had fresh legs."

The Wonders came on in the second half of the year after stabilizing their lineup. "We wished we would have had this team out there the beginning of the year," Martinez said.

Thanks to the play of goalie Kotani Mitsunori, the game stayed scoreless in the second half. Mitsunori made several outstanding saves in the second half, including two on one-on-one situations. Mitsunori finished with nine saves.

Martinez made a beautiful crossing pass from the right side to Anthony Grillo, who also came off the bench to give the Wonders a spark in the second half. Grillo's goal made it 1-0. "I just saw Anthony making a back pole run," Martinez said.

Martinez then faked out the goalie for his goal after taking a pass from Audren Cashman to make the score 2-0.

The Wonders couldn't break through in the first half, with its first golden chance coming off of a pass from Christopher Schwarze to Sam Sneed, who had broken away. But Sneed missed wide on his shot.

Rafa Leora later sent a pass forward to Sneed, whose header bounced off the left post. Sneed then sent a pass forward to Cashman, who was stopped on a one-on-one situation by the goalie.

"We were all over them," Aigbogun said. "We just couldn't finish. We finished at the end. Especially at the end to finish with 10 men was good."

Others who took shots for the Wonders included Schwarze, Mikey Varas, Stanton Smith, David Martin and Landon Roser.

Contact Charles Whisnand at cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214.


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