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Early goals lead Coyotes in opener

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera’s Raul Rivera gets out of the way of a kick by the Hanford goalkeeper. The Hanford goalkeeper had enough of Rivera after Rivera scored all three Madera goals in a Tuesday victory.


The Madera Coyote boys soccer team got two goals in the first 12 minutes of its season-opening match to record a 3-1 victory in Memorial Stadium.

Head coach Nick Landeros is optimistic about the upcoming season, He has 17 seniors on his roster and all have experience on the varsity level.

Senior goalkeeper Juan Daza pitched a near-shutout and senior forward Raul Rivera recorded a hat trick (3 goals) to lead the Coyotes to a win over Hanford on Tuesday evening.

“I think the first 10 minutes, we were nervous with it being the first game,” head coach Nick Landeros said. “Once we got the first goal, we started possessing the ball. After the second goal, we made a couple of subs, I think the game kind of dipped a little bit, but we still kept the pressure on them.”

Rivera scored in the ninth and 12th minute and then added the final touches in the 38th minute of the second half to pick up the victory.

Daza was solid in goal and helped key Rivera’s third goal with a diving save on a free kick just outside the box. Rivera scored on the ensuing counterattack.

“Juan Daza is probably one of the best goalkeepers in the valley,” Landeros said. “He’s really stepped up. We’re hoping to get him to play at the next level.”

In the ninth minute, David Gomez sent a shot on goal, but the Hanford goalkeeper made a block. The ball went to Rivera, who knocked a shot under the diving goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, Ricardo Lopez sent a ball in front to Rivera. He dribbled by a sliding goalkeeper and knocked the ball into the empty net for a 2-0 lead.

From there, the Coyotes worked the ball amongst each other looking for the right opportunity to strike. They switched the field trying to find the best opportunity to score. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find their shot the rest of the first half.

“Our style of play is to keep the ball as long as we can. The more we have the ball, the less time our opponent has to score. We like to be patient. In the first half, we were patient with going forward to be able to reset and find more ways to attack.”

Ten minutes into the second half, with Daza out of the box, defender Kevin Abundis worked back and knocked a Hanford shot on goal out of bounds. Daza came back and caught the ensuing corner kick to thwart a Hanford opportunity.

In the 17th minute, Gerardo Cabrera got the ball on the left, dribbled by a defender, but his shot went to the keeper.

In the 19th minute, Hanford cut Madera’s lead in half. Off a throw-in, the ball went to the front of the goal and was headed in for a 2-1 Madera lead.

Hanford had one last chance to tie the match in the 38th minute. The Bullpups received a free kick just outside the box. Hanford sent the ball on goal, but Daza made a diving save.

Daza then started the counter attack by kicking the ball up the field. Rivera brought the ball down on the right side and shot on goal just before the keeper got to him. The ball rolled harmlessly into the goal near the right corner for a 3-1 lead and the final tally of the night.

Madera next plays Wednesday at Clovis West, beginning at 5 p.m.


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