Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jose Venegas controls the ball against Buchanan during Tuesday’s season opener. He assisted on madera’s only goal in a 4-1 loss.
Madera Coyotes boys soccer coach Nic Landeros is challenging his team this season by scheduling five of the six teams in the powerful Tri-River Athletic Conference, including three of their first four matches and the season opener in Memorial Stadium.
The Coyotes allowed three goals in a five minute span during a 4-1 loss to the Buchanan-Clovis Bears on Tuesday to open the 2017-2018 campaign.
“They are a quality program,” Landeros said. “This is the reason why we put them on the schedule so we can challenge ourselves and assess where we’re at. It’s the first match of the season so we’re not too invested in it. We want to look at where we need to fix. The back line was good today. Our goal today was not to get counter-attacked and we prevented that.”
After a match with Selma on Friday, the Coyotes battle Clovis West on Nov. 29 and then face Clovis on Dec. 4. The only caveat is that Madera’s first five matches and seven of its 10 non-league matches are in Memorial Stadium.
“The chemistry and system takes time,” Landeros said. “It will take time to buy into the system that we are playing. The second half, we made some adjustments on the drawing board. We told them to tighten it up in the second half and play better. They did. As long as we get better, I’m okay.”
The Bears opened the scoring by drawing a penalty kick in the ninth minute. The Bears knocked the ball into the lower left side of the goal for the 1-0 lead.
About a minute later, Buchanan sent a cross from the right side. Buchanan headed it into back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Buchanan took the ball to the end line and crossed it. A Buchanan attacker sent a diving kick on the ball into the back of the net for the goal.
“We allowed three goals on crosses so we know what we need to work on,” Landeros said. “Other than that, it was a back and forth game. We had a lot of possession. The final pass to play wasn’t there. That’s something we just started working on in training. It’s going to take time. The game was closer than the score.”
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard in the 33rd minute. Jose Venegas set up for a free kick about 45 yards away from the goal. He sent the ball to the left side of the line of players. Buchanan missed its chance on the ball and Ricardo Lopez gathered the ball in, turned and shot into the left corner of the goal to cut the lead to 3-1.
However, in the 13th minute of the second half, Buchanan ended any thoughts of a comeback with an insurance goal. The Coyote defense couldn’t clear out a ball and Buchanan took advantage. They crossed a ball to the left side and shot inside the opposite post for the goal and a 4-1 lead.