Stallions leave it late in win over Buchanan


Wendy Alexander/The madera Tribune

Madera South’s Jaime Hernandez puts his foot on a penalty kick to score the Stallions’ first goal in a 2-1 victory Thursday against Buchanan.

Despite a young and upcoming squad, the Madera South Stallions proved they are creating something special with a 2-1 victory over Div. 1 Buchanan.


An 11th minute penalty-kick goal by Arturo Zavala got the Stallions rolling Thursday evening and the Madera South never looked back.


“I was really proud of how the boys played. We played our game and we beat a really good Div. 1 team in Buchanan,” head coach Enrique Garcia said. “We knew this was a much needed win. The staff really stressed on the boys that this was an opportunity for them to play a good team, but also get back in the win column.


And that’s just what Garcia’s boys did.


Zavala got the ball rolling with a cool, calm and collected penalty kick that broke open the game, but was also a symbol for what the Stallions are on the pitch. The former champions aren’t afraid of anyone on the pitch and the Buchanan Bears found that out first-hand.


Behind goals from Zavala in the first half and the eventual game-winning goal from Jaime Hernandez in the second, the Stallions reached the 3-2 record for the season.


“In practice we did our best to work on our flaws and just little things where we could improve. We tried to get back to what we were doing well,” Garcia said. “That’s a good win, against a Division I team.”


Thursday’s match showed that despite the age and experience level for many donning the purple and black of Madera South, when they step on the pitch, they are equals.


“We graduated a lot of seniors, a lot of kids that were on varsity for three years, “Garcia said. “We had to pull up a lot of young guys that probably weren’t ready to be up here, but they came with the right mindset and they’ve been really, really eager to get a victory and to know what the legacy of Madera South soccer is.”


From the 11th minute on, the Bears were chasing Madera South, both literally and figuratively.


Stallions’ goalkeeper Ishmal Ambriz was stout in goal, coming up to save tries from Buchanan, but also organizing a defense that repelled Buchanan, repeatedly. While players like Luis Diaz were instrumental in his play, it allowed the Stallions to get further up the pitch, repelling any Buchanan defender trying to take the ball off his feet.


Alan Aguilar and Raul Arzola showcased the dynamic link-up play that Garcia’s tactics employ.


Aguilar and Arzola each took on multiple Buchanan defenders as they streaked down the left-side of the pitch. Aguilar picked up the ball at the halfway line before darting towards the sideline, dribbling past two Buchanan defenders.


Aguilar flicked the ball forward into the final third where Arzola picked up the ball and raced into the penalty area before a trio of Bears forced the ball out for a corner.


Diaz took the corner and nearly found the back of the net as the Madera South striker nearly snuck it past the Buchanan keeper.


Arzola nearly made it 2-0 midway through the second half with a point-blank shot at the Buchanan keeper.


Zavala played a ball into the final third to Daniel De Jesus, who flicked the ball into the path of Arzola, who collected the ball quickly before sending a shot straight to the Buchanan goalkeeper.


Buchanan would have their say one way or another as they tied the game shortly after with a cutting ball through the Stallions’ defense.


At 1-1, Madera South poured on the pressure in the form of Arzola, who found his teammate Hernandez all alone on the left side of the penalty area. Arzola’s pass was perfect as Hernandez swung his right foot through the ball and in for game-winning goal.


Madera South next battles at Central tonight and hosts Chowchilla on Thursday

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