Stallions get overtime win
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Raul Arzola tries to get position to score in front of the Hoover goal during Saturday’s match. He scored the first goal of the game in a 2-1 win.
The Madera South Stallions boys soccer team needed an overtime winner from an early-season junior varsity call-up for a 2-1 victory over Hoover-Fresno.
A day after a 1-0 victory over Sanger West, the Stallions had control for most of Saturday’s contest, but a penalty kick in the 77th minute tied the score to force overtime.
Julian Flores came through with the eventual game-winning goal in the fourth minute of overtime to give the Stallions the win.
“A game like yesterday, missing 30 opportunities and scoring just one goal, we hoped that would have given them a wake-up call,” head coach Enrique Garcia said. “Today, the decision making was poor in the offensive third. We didn’t create as many opportunities as we could of and that kept Hoover in the game.”
Raul Arzola scored seven minutes into the match. Despite many more opportunities, the Stallions couldn’t add to their lead.
“We only allowed a couple of shots and the two penalty kicks,” Garcia said. “With us allowing them to stay in the game and tie it up allowed them to build momentum and kept us on our heels until overtime.”
In the seventh minute of the match, Josiah Navia too the ball on the right side and fought through defenders to get to the ball. He touched it across to the middle for Arzola. Arzola one-touched the ball into the right side of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The Stallions still had opportunities to extend their lead. In the 13th minute, Navia played give-and-go with Diego Jimenez with Navia’s shot going to the keeper.
In the 29th minute, Arzola was tripped up just outside the goalkeeper’s box. Jonathan Molina sent the free kick on goal and the ball was batted out. A Stallion headed the ball on goal, but it went off the crossbar. Arzola got a chance for a header, but the ball went over the crossbar.
Madera South had one more chance before halftime. Giovanni Gastelum sent a ball up front for Arzola, whose shot hit the outside of the left post.
Hoover had a chance to tie the score by drawing a penalty kick in the 38th minute. Hoover sent a shot to the upper right corner, but goalkeeper Carlos Ramirez blocked the ball with a dive. On the ensuing corner kick, Madera South knocked the ball out of bounds. On another corner kick, Ramirez caught a header to keep the Stallions in the lead.
In the seventh minute of the first half, Hoover shot from the left, but Ramirez made a diving save.
After a Hoover red card, Madera sent a ball in front for Jimenez, who went by the keeper and shot just outside the net.
Three minutes later, Madera South had a free kick from about 25 yards out, but Francisco Navia’s shot on goal was caught.
Arzola had a chance for an insurance goal in the 34th minute, but his shot went right. Navia got the ball two minutes later in the middle, but shot wide left.
On the counter, Hoover drew another penalty kick, and knocked it by a diving Ramirez to tie the score with three minutes left.
In the final seconds of regulation, the Hoover goalkeeper knocked down a Madera South attacker and the Stallions had a shot on the right from about 25 yards out. However, the free kick went into the Hoover wall and forced overtime.
Madera South took a corner kick with about four minutes left. The ball went high and Hoover headed the ball back. The ball landed at the foot of Flores and he knocked the ball back on goal and it found the back of the net for the goal.
“No one expected that to go in,” Garcia said. “Julian was a late pick-up from junior varsity to varsity this year. For him to step up and shine with the varsity is huge for us. He decided to put the ball back on frame. It ended up becoming a shot and able to finish. That’s great for his first varsity goal and, hopefully, builds more confidence for him.”
The Stallions’ defense did the rest and didn’t allow a shot on goal for the final 16 minutes of the match to preserve the 2-1 victory.