Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s William Bispham keeps posession away from Mendota during Tursday’s match.
Five days after losing against Mendota in the championship game of the Mendota Tournament, the Madera Coyotes boys soccer team avenged the loss with an overtime win at home.
The Coyotes struggled to get a goal in regulation, but finally broke the deadlock in overtime and won 1-0 at Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 20.
“I feel very, very happy because this is a team that beat us in the tournament,” senior Emmanuel Cabello said. “When we went into the game, we had one mindset and it was that we are not going to lose to this team again. We had this mindset that we are going to work as hard as we can, so we can get this W.”
Cabello scored the game-winner in the third minute of overtime. Sophomore Jonah Hill dribbled down the left wing and found Cabello, who spun around the defender and placed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal from about 20 yards out.
“I saw the ball come, so I had to focus,” Cabello said. “When I got that shot, I took a deep breath. I was just very calm and I put it in.”
Mendota had two golden opportunities to tie the game in overtime. The first chance came on a header from Alex Ochoa, which was saved by the fingertips of goalkeeper Francisco Segovia.
The junior goalkeeper came up huge again a few minutes later, making a diving save to stop another shot by Ochoa.
“I’m proud of my keeper,” Cabello said. “He saved us a lot. I think he’s the real MVP.”
With emotions at a high level from both sides in the final minutes, Madera senior Jose Escalera was accused of impeding a freekick. As a result, Escalera saw his second yellow card of the game and was given an early exit.
“The referee is one of things that we can’t control,” Madera coach Nic Landeros said. “Usually you don’t call something like that. When the player is already on a yellow card, you just tell them, ‘Hey man, you’re on a yellow card already,’ but it is what it is.”
Escalera had a chance to give the Coyotes the lead in the third minute of the game, but his shot was saved by a defender on the goalline. The Coyotes also had a few shots skip across the face of the goal and some which hit the post.
Landeros said he is happy with how his team kept their head up when things didn’t go right.
“That’s just us dominating our mindset,” Landeros said. “We stress. When we make a bad play or something doesn’t go our way, just to turn the page. We just keep at it and not get frustrated. We can control our emotions and our attitude, so that’s what we look to do.”
The Coyotes finished last season with only two wins, but Landeros said the team has grown from that tough experience this year.
“Last year we were a young team and we knew how it felt to get beat pretty bad,” Landeros said. “For these guys to step up this year and fight every game, that’s just a credit to them. That’s not me. That’s them and their heart and their work ethic.”