Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s David Vasquez dribbles around a Fowler defender during a 4-0 victory over the Redcats. Vasquez was one of four players to score a goal in the win.
Before the Madera South Stallions boys soccer team opens its County/Metro Athletic Conference season against the Edison Tigers, the Stallions wrapped up their final tune-up against the Fowler Redcats at Memorial Stadium.
Madera South dominated from the first minute en route to a 4-0 victory Jan. 28 to solidify the Stallions as the early leaders in the conference with a 13-2 record and also leaders in the Div. 3 standings.
The Stallions relied on a team effort as four different goal scorers helped push Madera South to the win. Jesse Flores, David Vasquez, Christian Garcia and Jose Chavez showcased the Stallions’ ability to share the ball around the pitch with a goal each. Madera South also had four different players provide an assist as Garcia, Daniel Maciel, Arturo Zavala, Ricardo Barriga each set up a goal in the 4-0 victory.
Since the Stallions’ match against Coalinga in early December, Madera South has scored 47 goals and only allowed five in an eight-game stretch. The Stallions won seven of the eight — their only loss came from Madera in the Mendota Tournament.
“We’re waking up at a key moment, we’re finding ourselves,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “We’re finding through balls. The idea and vision is there and just the execution. All of it is coming together and as we move forward on a positive note, we keep getting wins by scoring so much — things are positive.”
With a goal differential of 52 over the course of the season, the Stallions offense might be too much to handle for the CMAC, but the team is focused and eager for the task at hand.
“We’re humbled, but we are hungry and aware of where we’re at,” Garcia said. “We want to continue moving forward. We’ve never been 13-2 going into league, so knowing that, we are excited to be hosting Edison in the first round of league.”
After a back and forth opening first 30 minutes, the Stallions found their breakthrough courtesy of Chavez. The senior forward scored on a close-range finish just before the halftime whistle to give the Stallions momentum going into the second half.
For Chavez, his goal against Fowler was his eighth goal of the season.
Madera South came out of halftime and put its second goal on the board after Barriga delivered a perfect corner into the box where Flores was waiting. Flores was sitting at the back post, before flicking the ball into the back of the net.
Madera South almost made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute after Garcia released Abraham Vasquez down the wing. Vasquez dribbled down the field before he found Chavez steaking into the penalty area, but the pair were unable to complete the play after the Fowler goalkeeper intercepted the pass.
The Stallions found their goal in the 65th minute after David Vasquez fired away from close range to give Madera South an insurmountable lead.
Their efforts were boosted when Garcia called his own number as he darted into the box before sending in a goal into the top corner, forcing the Redcats goalkeeper to slowly pluck the ball out of his own net for the fourth time.