Stallions outlast Tigers in CMAC clash
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Daniel De Jesus dribbles the ball up the field during Thursday’s victory over the Edison Tigers. De Jesus scored a goal and assisted in another during the 3-2 victory.
Wins don’t come easy in the County/Metro Athletic Conference and the Madera South Stallions boys soccer team found out first hand against the Edison-Fresno Tigers.
With a 3-2 win Thursday over the Tigers, the Stallions continue their climb to the CMAC summit where the games only get tougher.
For Madera South, they didn’t get the luxury of a day off before the match with Edison.
Instead, the Stallions went to war for 100 minutes against defending CMAC champions Sanger. Madera South nearly took the victory when the score was tied at one, but a three-goal overtime period by Sanger changed the game.
Fast forward to the following night and the Stallions are tired and weary, but ready for the CMAC and everything it has to throw at teams.
Madera South opened the match on the back foot.
A bit slower and tired, Madera South’s mistakes allowed the Tigers to take an early 1-0 lead. The Stallions never got back into the game until the second half.
Edison continued to take their chances as two goals by the Tigers spurned on the Stallions to complete a comeback in less than 10 minutes.
Madera South pounced on defensive liabilities to cage the Tigers and earn a hard-fought CMAC win.
“It was just a sloppy game for us, in general. We had too many missed opportunities, especially in the first half, actually the first five minutes. We had opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, but we didn’t,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “We gave Edison some opportunities and they were able to put them away.”
The Stallions never gave up after what could have been a disastrous start.
However, thanks to Raul Arzola, Chris Zavala and Daniel De Jesus, the Stallions rescued the night in a 10-minute span.
“It was a simple talk at halftime. We competed against the bigger teams and played well, but it showed that we can step up against bigger teams but sometimes we drop to the level of our opponents which we don’t want,” Garcia said.
Madera South began to press higher in the second half and the game changed.
A bad clearance from Edison in the second half opened the floodgates. Zavala picked off the Tigers pass before calmly slotting the ball home with his right foot.
Zavala had much work to do as the keeper was off his line and Zavala decided to take it from 35 yards out, pinging the ball past the keeper.
Madera South continued to press and then came the second goal of the match.
Arzola originally misplaced a pass in the middle of the pitch towards the Tigers’ final third and although Edison collected the ball, another mistake allowed De Jesus and Arzola to work their way into space before De Jesus took the shot and scored.
“It was a bad clearance from Edison that gave us that chance,” Garcia said.
The pair of Arzola and De Jesus combined once again as De Jesus found Arzola streaking towards the penalty area. Arzola collected the pass before beating the keeper for the game-winning goal.
Despite coming up short in the first half, the Stallions dug deep and pulled out the important win.
With the Stallions’ ability to win tough games at home and on the road, expect the boys to make a run towards the playoffs.