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2016 Season ...

Comets open with scoreless tie against Moorpark

MOORPARK (8/26/2016) -- Palomar's men's soccer team kicked off its 2016 season Friday by battling to a 0-0 non-conference tie at Moorpark.

"We had a good performance for the first game," coach Dave Whiddon said. "I'm pleased with the effort."

Goalkeeper Chuy Resendiz recorded eight saves and the shutout with what Whiddon described as "the top performance of the day."

Whiddon also singled out strong play by midfielder Chris Kusunoki and forward Josh Clay (above left).

Lalo Vasquez, shown scoring a goal against Moorpark last season, returns to help lead Palomar's 2016 team. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Whiddon's second Palomar team looks talented

SAN MARCOS (8-25-2016) -- Palomar, in its second season under coach Dave Whiddon, begins 2016 with a strong blend of experienced returners and newcomers.

Whiddon has his leading scorer back in Josh Clay, a forward out of Orange Glen High School. "Josh brings a combination of outstanding speed, athletic ability and technique," Whiddon says.

Clay is joined by veterans Lalo Vasquez (Orange Glen) and Chris Kusunoki (Poway High), a pair that the coach expects to be "a force in midfield." Also returning: from last year's squad: midfielder Elijah Lopez (Fallbrook) and defenders Kyle Gemmell (Rancho Buena Vista) and Stone McElderry (Mission Vista). Gemmell and McElderry both played for Whiddon in high school.

Newcomers expected to make an immediate impact are forward Argi Cerda (Escondido), midfielders Gil Vasquez (Rancho Buena Vista) and Danny Gallardo (San Marcos), and Anthony Maldanado (Temecula Chaparral) and transfer Doug Smith from NCAA Division II Limestone College on defense.

"We have a great group of talented freshman," Whiddon says. "Their test will be to quickly adjust to the speed and physicality of college soccer. I'm confident they'll step up to the challenge."

Off-Season ...

Gonzales (CSUSM), Ruth (SD Christian) commit

SAN MARCOS (2-29-2016) -- Two first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selections from coach Dave Whiddon's Palomar 2015 men's soccer team, Victor Gonzalez and Aaron Ruth, both committed to four-year univiersities this week.

Gonzalez, a sophomore midfielder from La Quinta High School in La Quinta, committed to play for coach Ron Pulvers at Cal State San Marcos.

Gonzalez was team captain for the Comets and carries a 3.5 grade-point average.

Ruth committed to play for coach Josh Westerman at San Diego Christian University.

Ruth has a 4.0 grade-point average.

2015 Season ...

ABOVE: Palomar's Juan Garcia (left) battles MiraCosta's Jonathan Palacios for control of the ball in the Comets' 2-1 victory over the rival Spartans on Friday at Minkoff Field. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Austin Rizzo, who scored the winning goal in the 88th minute.

Palomar tops rival MiraCosta 2-1 in finale

SAN MARCOS (11-13-2015) -- Palomar finished its men's soccer season on a huge upside on Friday afternoon at Minkoff Field by sweeping rival MiraCosta.

Austin Rizzo scored the winning goal off an assist by Elijah Lopez in the 88th minute, giving the Comets a 2-1 victory over the Spartans.

Rizzo's goal broke a 1-1 halftime tie. MiraCosta went in front late in the first half, but the Comets answered with an unassisted goal by Lalo Calleja.

"(Rizzo's goal) was a great individual effort," Palomar coach Dave Whiddon said, who took over the Comets' program during the off-season and saw his team barely fall short in their previous two games when it had an opportunity to finish the season over .500 .

"This is a great win for the program and will really help in recruiting for next year," Whiddon added. "It was another tremendous team effort, the defense led by Aaron Ruth was solid and the midfield play by Juan Garcia was outstanding."

Palomar's goalkeepers combined for 11 saves, five by Autry Hailey and six by Pierce Cole.

In the first game of the afternoon at Minkoff Field, Palomar's women's team defeated MiraCosta 1-0.

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