Second half ruins Stallions’ home opener
Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Aaron Ocegueda (20) heads a ball out of danger in front of a jumping Clovis player during Saturday’s loss with Marco Leal (17) providing support.
The Madera South Stallions battled tough for the first 40 minutes against the Clovis Cougars in the home opener, but the Cougars took advantage of Stallions’ mistakes to score four second half goals for the win.
The Stallions held plenty of possession, but couldn’t get a quality shot off. So did the Cougars and both teams went into the half Saturday in a scoreless tie.
“The first half, the boys played everything to a tee,” head coach Enrique Garcia said. “We worked so hard. We understood Clovis scored 14 goals and allowed one this season. The boys stepped up to the challenge. They wanted to defend well and the defense wanted to pitch a shutout. With a lot of injuries and stuff going on, the boys stepped up and were hungry.”
However, multiple mistakes led to four goals, three by one player, and a home loss.
“We wanted to do the same in the second half, but we let one goal slip by,” Garcia said. “With a lot of our mistakes, Clovis capitalized and put the ball away. This was a good way to see how these boys react. We are a young team with only seven seniors and the rest sophomores and freshmen. This was good to understand that this is a Div. I school and a team that will compete for the championship. Our boys stood up with them in the first half. The second half was a wake-up call. Now we know what we have to work on and move forward.”
While the Stallions seemed a little timid to put shots on goal, the Cougars weren’t shy about it. They peppered Stallion goalkeeper Nathan Marroquin in the first half with four good shots on goal.
However, second half goalkeeper Ishmael Ambriz wasn’t so lucky with four goals against and many more shots against.
Madera South had the first solid shot attempt when Arturo Zavala got the ball in front off a deflection from Raul Arzola. Zavala’s shot on goal was deflected out of bounds and that was the only shot on goal for the Stallions in the first half.
The Stallions had plenty of possessions in front of the Clovis goal, but couldn’t get a quality shot off.
Meanwhile, the Cougars attacked Marroquin. He came out on a couple of point blank shot attempts to make a save.
Clovis also got unlucky twice or they would have had a first half lead. In the eighth minute, a 20-yard free kick was kicked into the Stallions’ wall. Eight minutes later, Clovis got a shot on goal off a free kick. The ball was deflected towards the goal and it hit off the post to keep the game scoreless.
In the second half, Clovis scored in the third minute. The Stallions’ defense allowed a ball to the middle and Clovis sent the ball on goal. The ball deflected off a Stallions’ player into the corner of the net for the first goal of the match.
In the fifth minute, Madera South had a chance to answer, but Gerardo Becerra’s 15-yard shot on goal went over the crossbar. Arzola came back and got the ball in front with a shot, but it was covered up.
In the 16th minute, Clovis took the ball right to the end line and flicked a shot over Ambriz’s head on goal. The ball hit the opposite post and clanged into the back of the net for the second goal of the match.
Three minutes later, Madera South tried to clear the ball away from Ambriz. However, Clovis was there and sent a 25-yard shot on the ground that found its way through the Stallions’ defense and by Ambriz into the net for a 3-0 lead.
In the 33rd minute, Madera South was called for a hand ball just outside the box. Clovis lined up for the free kick with a wall of Stallions in front. As Clovis sent the kick on goal, the Stallions’ wall jumped for a block. However, the ball never left the ground and rolled underneath the wall and into the back of the net for a 4-0 lead.
Madera South had its best chance at a goal when Arzola was taken out just outside the goalkeeper’s box, resulting in a red card ejection. Unfortunately, the ensuing free kick was sent into the Clovis wall and, eventually cleared out.