Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South midfielder Christian Garcia keeps possession away from a San Joaquin Memorial attacker during Thursday’s 4-1 win.
The Madera South boy’s soccer team scored two goals in the first half to secure its first County/Metro Athletic Conference win of the season 4-1 against the San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers at Lee DaSilva Field in Memorial Stadium.
“It feels really good,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “The players stepped up and played well. We’ve gone down a little slope but looking at league, we are 1-0 now and we’re going to continue moving forward.”
The Panthers came into the contest as one of the top teams in the conference with an 8-4 record. With a dominant win, the Stallions can take a lot from Thursday’s match.
“It gives us a little bit more belief heading into the division,” Garcia said. “With them sitting higher, it just shows us that we are able to compete and move up if we continue to play the way we should be playing.”
Daniel Maciel, Alexander Castro and Kevin Osuna combined for four goals in a dominant attacking display. The Stallions raced out to a two-goal lead behind Maciel and Castro and never looked back.
Maciel and Castro combined to give the Stallions a 2-0 halftime lead. Madera South had two goals in the first half for the first time since their positive showing at the Chowchilla tournament back in December.
Although Maciel and Castro took the plaudits, Joseph Rivera and Stephen Arvizu proved to be vital cogs to the machine after they each added an assist.
With a two-goal lead intact, the Stallions continued to pour the pressure on throughout the second half.
San Joaquin Memorial eventually established a foothold in the game and unfortunately for the Stallions, it contributed to goals.
Alan Diaz-Barraga won a free kick just outside the Stallions penalty area and made Madera South pay for their lackadaisical defending.
Barraga sized up the wall standing between him and glory and fired in a swerving shot. The ball flew over the keeper and in for the goal.
Madera South countered and eventually put the game to bed after Christian Garcia played a ball down field to Osuna who sprinted past the Panther defense.
Osuna outpaced his opponent before dancing around the charging keeper where he dispatched the ball despite the tight angle.
Maciel added his second goal of the game shortly after and the Stallions wrapped up their first conference victory of the year.