Stallions fall to Sanger in semifinals

SANGER — It was pandemonium in Sanger as the home team took down the Madera South boys soccer team to clinch a trip to the Div. II Valley Championship match.

The third-seeded Stallions gave up a goal early in the game and put together a ferocious comeback effort, but still suffered a 2-0 loss against the top-seeded Apaches in the Div. II Central Section Semifinals.

“Sometimes in soccer, it just doesn’t go your way,” Madera South coach Enrique Garcia said. “We hit the post a couple times. We got great looks and it just didn’t go in. Soccer is that type of game where you give everything you got and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”

The Stallions trailed 1-0 in the seventh minute after a goal by Isaiah Villalobos.

“We fell asleep and they capitalized,” Garcia said. “All power to them. They came in hungry, especially with their crowd.”

Sanger continued to dominate possession throughout the first half, but still struggled to get shots on target. The Stallions found a rare shot in the final seconds of the first half, but Gustavo Arzola’s kick from inside the box went just wide and the score remained 1-0 going into the break.

Madera South came out looking to attack in the second half. David Vasquez took a shot from close range in the 43rd minute, but his kick hit the post and kept the Stallions scoreless.

Sanger earned a corner in the next minute, but they were unable to capitalize with a header.

The Stallions followed up with two close misses in the 46th and 49th minute. More chances went to waste for the Stallions when they came up empty on two corner kicks in the 56th and 57th minutes.

Sanger’s Luis Villegas took a long distance shot in the 60th minute, but his attempt sailed over the bar. In the next minute, the Apaches came up short on a free kick.

Madera South’s David Salas attempted a header in the 64th minute which went just wide of the goal.

The Apaches sealed the deal in the 68th minute when Johan Prado blasted a screamer from outside the box.

Madera South had a chance to get on the board in the 78th minute, but the Apaches blocked Arturo Zavala’s kick and preserved the shutout.

Garcia said he will be rooting for the Apaches in the Valley Championship because he wants to see a County/Metro Athletic Conference team win.

“Sanger did their job today and congratulations to them,” he said. “We tied them twice in league. The first game they scored early in overtime and we came back hungry and scored. The second game, it was a shutout where we got chances, they got chances. It just didn’t go in.”

The Stallions advanced to the semifinals after beating Atascadero in the first round and Paso Robles in the quarterfinals.

“It’s a great run for these boys and I have a lot of young players that are going to come back,” Garcia said. “They’re hungry. All these freshmen showing those tears, that’s something special because I know they’re gonna want it next year.”

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