Madera South outlasts Madera in rivalry
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aaron Ocegueda (20) tries to clear the ball away from Madera’s Alan Morfin (23) during Tuesday’s rivalry match. The Stallions picked up an intense 2-1 victory in Memorial Stadium.
An intense, physical soccer match between two rivals ended with the Madera South Stallions holding off the Madera Coyotes to win 2-1 at Memorial Stadium
The boys soccer match was heated from the get-go, with both teams proving their physicality and showing their disapproval for many of the referees’ decisions Tuesday evening.
“For most of the game, we held up pretty good. Just a couple of referee decisions that didn’t go our way and that’s what pretty much led to them winning the game,” Madera assistant coach Sergio Hernandez said.
Goal scoring opportunities were rarely seen in the first half as the two teams tightened the defense.
Madera earned one of the few opportunities on a free kick early in the game. But the strike from Elmer Garcia sailed over the bar.
Madera South came with a counterattack a few minutes later. However, Javier Buenrostro‘s cross from the right wing didn’t connect with any Stallions as it traveled across the face of goal.
In the 19th minute, Madera South junior goalkeeper Chris Arias came out of his goal and lunged forward to punch away a free kick, which almost found a Stallions’ player for a potential volley in the box.
A minute later, Madera sophomore Elias Zuniga received a cross from the right wing and attempted a header in front of goal. The ball, however, went over the bar.
As the physical match continued, Madera South sophomore Raul Arzola engaged in a tussle with Madera senior Imanol Coria. Arzola was attempting to dribble around Coria when the defender gave him a slight shove and caused him to fall. The heated sophomore lightly pushed Coria in the chest after getting back on his feet. Multiple players from both teams then barked at each other before the referee calmed the situation. The Stallions were awarded a free kick from just outside of the box. But they failed to convert the chance.
The game’s first score came in the 52nd minute when Madera South senior Luis Diaz converted a penalty, sliding the shot into the lower right corner of the goal.
“We understood we were going to get hit and we were able to move the ball around and find a way to get that ball up to our dangerous players. That created the penalty kick,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said.
Later in the second half, the Coyotes remained scoreless as Garcia took a long-distance shot, which went just wide.
Madera South found its second goal moments later when Luis Flores received a cross and took a shot in front of goal.
“The second goal, it was just demanding the ball inside and playing through the physicality again. We got a cross off of it and it’s a ricochet type of hit and our player, Luis Flores, goes through and puts that ball away,” Garcia said.
The Coyotes responded in the 66th minute when Dylan Castro converted a penalty kick. But the Stallions defense held tight in the final minutes and preserved the win against the crosstown rivals.
Garcia said he was happy with the composure he saw from his team despite the physical match.
“We know Madera High tends to play that way, which is fine. I just wanted to preach to our boys to not let that get into our head and get into a physical altercation, get yellow cards, get red cards and get ourselves suspended for the next game,” Garcia said. “The boys stepped up to the challenge. We played physical as well. That’s what gave us the momentum to get something more and gave us the 2-1 win.”
Garcia expects the same type of match between the rivals for many more years.
“It’s always going to be like that,” he said. “It’s good for Madera because it brings the town out to the game. It’s also good for the kids to experience that type of rivalry in this type of town, in a soccer community.”