Focused Stallions defeat Bullard, 4-0
COVID-19 has disrupted the schedule for the Madera South boys soccer team, but the players are learning to overcome the challenges they’re facing.
The Stallions, who have missed several games and significant playing time due to the pandemic in recent weeks, cruised to a 4-0 home win against Bullard-Fresno on Wednesday.
Raul Arzola recorded a brace in the win, scoring in the first and second half. Ulysses Vega and Jonathan Molina added the other two goals for the Stallions. Vega also came up with a pair of assists in the win.
“Today, we had a lot of players cramp up. Due to COVID, we lost about five players, so only had 14 roster today. Three players cramped up, so that means we had no bench players. But we just gotta do what we gotta do in this type of crisis right now,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said.
As COVID continues to take a toll on several sports programs around the Valley, the Stallions feel grateful to be back on the field.
“We actually have the luxury of playing, so we are humbled, we are grateful,” Garcia said. “We’re just gonna wait for the players to come back and move forward after everybody is here completely as a team.”
While COVID took away their opportunity to practice on the field, the Stallions regularly held meetings on Zoom.
As they return to the field, the Stallions are applying the lessons they learned from the Zoom meetings. The team’s dedication paid off in the game against Bullard.
“They were able to listen to exactly what we were asking from Zoom, the little mistakes from certain areas, so we fixed those,” Garcia said. “At halftime, the team listened to what we needed from them and they fixed those in the half. We came with a W against a really strong Bullard team that’s ranked higher than us.”
Although the team has had some problems with executing plays in previous games, it was a different story against the Knights.
“We have been struggling to score more than two goals. Even though we have 10, 15 opportunities, we only score two goals. But tonight, having a total of 10-20 shots, scoring four is giving them more motivation,” Garcia said.
While there are still mistakes to clean up, the coaching staff is encouraging the players to keep learning from every game.
“We’re not pros and even the pros make mistakes,” Garcia said. “We just have to grow from our mistakes.”
With COVID still continuing to spread in the community, the Stallions are forced to deal with an unpredictable schedule and an inconsistent lineup.
“We have been struggling to keep our mind in the game knowing that this week we have a couple of players missing, next week we have a couple of players missing. We have injuries, we have this, we have that, but they’re doing well,” Garcia said.
In addition to missing multiple games, the Stallions have also lost several practice days.
“It’s tough, but they’re getting there,” Garcia said. “Hopefully next week we don’t have any issues with COVID cases.”