Coyotes lose close match at home
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Angel Segovia sends a shot on goal during Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Fowler Redcats.
So far, the 2021 preseason has given the Madera Coyotes boys soccer team a worthy test in preparation for a tough County/Metro Athletic Conference season, but also a chance to see where the Coyotes need to improve in hopes of securing a Valley Championship.
That’s goal every season for the Coyotes who are starting to build a foundation within the CMAC.
The Coyotes battled back and forth with reigning champs Fowler but was unable to pull out a close contested match, 1-0.
Without star Elmer Garcia, the Coyotes lacked a familiar spark, though still putting in a solid effort that nearly saw the game leveled on multiple occasions.
“We want to challenge ourselves and play well-organized and well-coached teams,” Madera head coach Nic Landeros said. “We were expecting a good match from Fowler.”
This preseason, the Coyotes have won four matches, lost five and have tied one . With multiple tough challenges before the start of the league season, the Coyotes have ample time to get healthy and warmed up for the season.
“We started well during the first five matches of the season. After losing to Clovis North, we won four in a row before we ran into a road bump,” Landeros said. “We’ve been dealing with injuries to key players in the last few weeks and it shows. We have given time to some of our squad players and they are doing their best to catch up to the speed of the game.”
Madera opens its CMAC account on Jan. 12 against reigning CMAC champions, Sanger, on the road. Despite a grueling league schedule year after year, Landeros preaches patience and a sense of calmness despite the message that every game is a final.
And that was no different from last Tuesday’s visitors.
Fowler, fresh off a Valley Championship in 2020-21, came into the matchup with the Coyotes 8-2 with big wins against Clovis, Washington Union-Easton and Firebaugh, and a close 4-3 loss to the Apaches.
But the Coyotes not only were ready after a difficult challenge, they had chances on their own, but as is the game itself, converting your chances is key.
The Coyotes’ best chance fell in the final moments of the match. Madera’s Julian Ramirez stepped up to attempt to deliver the game-tying goal.
Madera earned a penalty in the dying minutes after Ramirez received an inch-perfect pass into space, allowing his pace to run onto the ball. Faced with an almost certain goal, a Fowler defender cut down Ramirez in the box.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Ramirez was unable to convert as Fowler keeper Diego Manzanares made the game-tying save.
“Penalties are unpredictable and they are very tough in my opinion, but the Fowler keeper made a great save,” Landeros said.
Fowler proved that to be true as one chance they took sealed the victory. Fowler’s Bryan Lopez scored the lone goal of the match, his 10th on the season.