Cougar Soccer Wins Again

Boys soccer traveled to Oakdale yesterday for their second game with Oakdale High, hoping their offensive explosion in Tuesday’s game (a 5-0 victory vs. Kimball) would continue and convince the Cougars they are back on track to challenge for the VOL crown. In a back and forth match where neither team assumed complete control, the Cougars outlasted the Mustangs and posted a 4-3 victory over the Mustangs.

The matchup was the second time the two schools met, and the second time the Cougars jumped out to an early lead only to have the Mustangs come back and tie the game up. On April 21, Weston Ranch got out to an early lead, but Oakdale tied it up quickly. The two teams would manage one goal each in the second half, and the first game ended in a tie, 2-2. Last night’s matchup saw the Cougars race out to an early two-goal lead, but the Mustangs added two of their own, and it looked like deja-vu all over again.

Eight minutes into the second half, Ivan Guerra put the Cougars up 3-2. Guerra, a sophomore, scored his second goal of the game and third of the season and gave the Cougars a big lift. However, just like last time, as quick as the Cougars got the lead, the Mustangs tied it right back up. The two teams exchanged possessions for the next 51 minutes until Dannick Hernandez received a pass from Sergio Rayo and knocked in what would be the game-winner. And just like that, the Cougars improved to 2-1-1 in the VOL and put themselves right back into the hunt for the VOL crown.

“We had a roller coaster of a game,” said head coach Francisco Cisneros. “This was a great performance by our guys. They were tough mentally and came out with 3 points in a really tough environment against a tough opponent.”

Guerra’s two goals helped propel the Cougars to victory, and his efforts lifted the team.

“It was an exciting game,” Guerra told The Prowl. “I guess I was in the right place at the right time to score. We’re coming together as a team, and it’s really fun for us.”

Senior Angel Zapata, who had one of the Cougar goals and has three goals on the season, agreed with Guerra.

“We started slow, but once we got to know each other better, we’ve really come together to play good soccer,” said Zapata.

In a short season where there has been uncertainty, the Cougars have shown they can be resilient. Getting the first few games under their belts has knocked some rust off, and the Cougars look like they’re beginning to gel at the right time. They’re scoring more, getting great defensive help, and great goaltending. Senior Chris Lopez turned away five Oakdale shots helping to secure the win.

Cisneros added, “This game will be a turning point for us. I expect our best soccer is still ahead of us.”

The Cougars will play Central Catholic May 4 at Weston Ranch. The Raiders currently sit at 0-3 in the VOL, and the Cougars will look to continue their winning streak against a CC team that has surrendered 16 goals in three games this year while only scoring two. The game time for May 4 is 5:45.