Stallions down Lemoore with strong second half
With two first-half goals, the Madera South boys soccer team defeated the Lemoore Tigers in Memorial Stadium.
The Stallions scored the first two goals of their Dec. 11 match in the first 20 minutes, but gave up a goal shortly after the second goal.
“They got confident after scoring two early goals,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “Right after that second goal we scored — exactly two minutes — they put their first goal in. It’s a two-half game, not one half.”
Senior Christian Garcia and junior David Vasquez scored the Stallions’ two goals in a similar fashion, following up missed shots with a scrappy effort.
Garcia took a cross from Abraham Vasquez and scored by following up his own miss.
“It was a great ball out wide,” Garcia said. “I had that first volley that hit post, but I followed up, hit it with my right and just hit that top of the post and it went in. It felt great.”
Vasquez scored the second goal when he out-hustled his opponents to the rebound off a corner kick.
“Coach always tells us to follow up the second ball,” Vasquez said. I saw the opportunity and took my shot and it went in. You can’t give up on the first ball.”
Vasquez had two more chances to add to the lead in the second half.
One of his shots was on target, but it was saved by the goalkeeper.
Later in the second half, Vasquez hit the post on a counter-attack opportunity. Despite the missed opportunity, the Stallions were able to take advantage of the counter-attack for most of the game.
“With them pressing so many numbers up, it left just three defenders back, which gave us a great opportunity to counter,” Garcia said.
Garcia also came close in the 63rd minute when his long-range shot went just wide.
On defense, the Stallions were able to limit Lemoore’s chances. Senior Chase Garcia had Lemoore’s best chance in the 69th minute, but his shot hit the right post.
“We started making mistakes, but defense shut it down,” Garcia said. “We looked kind of sloppy, but we came out with the ‘W.’”
With their third straight win, the Stallions improved to 8-1.
The Stallions will begin league play on Jan. 4 against Edison. In the meantime, the team is looking at some of the issues in the win against Lemoore and focusing on putting together a more complete performance.
“We fell asleep. We got too confident,” Garcia said. “We were overhyped, but maybe just stay more awake and stay consistent.”