Boys Soccer Can’t Solve Sierra

Last night in the stadium, the boy’s soccer team suffered a tough loss at the hands of VOL rival Sierra. In a miserable night highlighted by a cold chill, a soggy field, and a sparse crowd, the Cougars again fell to their nemesis, 4-2.

After falling behind 4-0, the Cougars began to rally and scored two goals late in the 2nd half. The Cougars are known around the league as a team who can get down early and score multiple goals late, so Sierra took its 4-goal lead, packed their defenders into the goalie box, and kept the ball away from the Cougars for the majority of the 2nd half, thus preventing the usual Cougar late scoring rushes and flurries.

The Cougars did have opportunities to score but were turned away by the Timberwolves goalie and by the goal’s crossbar. Three times the Cougars got shots off from close range, but Sierra’s goalie made miraculous saves. Another shot from outside the goal box was on the mark, but it struck the crossbar. After these four opportunities, it seemed to deflate the Cougars’ spirits, and as the time ran out, a sad Cougar team walked off the field with disappointment.

“Early on, we had some really good scoring opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of, and to Sierra’s credit, they did put away their scoring chances,” said head coach Francisco Cisneros.

Sierra’s scoring chances came from senior Adib Guedoir, who knocked in three of the four T Wolf goals. Although there were four Sierra goals, none were out of the ordinary, and it looked more like a Cougar defensive breakdown more than a great effort. Guedoir was in the right place at the right time as he knocked in goals from close range and on rebounds.

Cisneros agreed and added, “It was obvious what Sierra was doing, and that’s where I need to take action faster and put a man mark on their striker and force someone else on that team to beat us.” He went on to add, “You can’t have one opposing player score a hat trick without doing something about it from a coach’s point of view. Tough losses like this are an opportunity to grow and get better. But I will take the blame for this loss.”

With last night’s defeat, the Cougars dropped to second place in the VOL with a record of 4-1-1. Oakdale sits atop the VOL at 4-0-2 after a comeback victory over Central Catholic. Sierra improved to 4-2. The VOL title is wide open after the Cougars’ loss, and Timberwolves win, but the Cougars are no strangers to the stress of chasing a championship. In the last 18 games of league play, Weston Ranch is 13-3-2. However, two of those losses have come from Sierra, once last year in the VOL title game played at Lathrop and the loss last night.

While Cisneros took the loss hard as a coach, he had nothing but praise for his squad and will continue to expect big things in the weeks to come.

“We’ve played 12 games this year, and last night was our first loss. These guys are pretty resilient, so I know we’ll bounce back. Even last night, after being down 4-0, we showed tremendous heart and resolve by scoring two late in the game and making it interesting.”

Senior Armando Garcia scored the goals for Weston Ranch, helping to avoid a shut out, which looked possible. Sierra was able to neutralize seniors Elvin Bolanos and Kevin Urrutia-Hernandez, and sophomore Aaron Silva. Bolanos is the Cougars leader in goal scoring with 8, and both Urrutia-Hernandez and Silva have six each. Taking away key goal-scorers and shutting down the offense is a key to any victory, and Sierra did just that. It was a frustrating night for everyone.

Cisneros added, “While we played hard, we didn’t play with the type of intensity that will win you a VOL title, and that falls back on the coach. I, too, will learn from this tough loss and get ready for the second half of the season.”

Next up for Weston Ranch is a home game with Kimball on January 21st. Weston Ranch defeated Kimball in their first meeting, 4-1.