Friday, Sep. 07, 2012
Los Banos soccer team off to 1-0-1 start to season
By David Witte / firstname.lastname@example.org
Wes Wing wasn't sure what to expect in his first season as Los Banos High's varsity soccer coach.
He took over a program that didn't win a single game the year before, and not enough players showed up to field a junior varsity team. But two matches into the season, the Tigers are 1-0-1 after opening with a 4-4 tie against Hilmar last Thursday and defeating Orestimba 4-0 on Tuesday.
"We're two games into the season and we haven't lost. With results, you can't argue them," Wing said. "But we've got a lot of work to do. For the program, it means a lot just confidence-wise."
LB might have been 2-0 except for a few key mistakes against Hilmar -- one a handball penalty that led to a goal, and the other a header that bounced the wrong way and left an open goal and an easy shot for Hilmar.
"I think they were kind of eager to get a win, and they were just holding on," Wing said. "It was just a lot of things like that. It was kind of a letdown -- I felt it was a game we should have won."
Hilmar had a few mistakes of its own that led to goals. Two of LB's goals popped out of groups of players, and Wing isn't sure if they were own-goals or came off of Tigers players.
A much more relaxed team took the field in Orestimba, and it showed right away -- freshman Florentino Montero took in a wing pass from Jesse Malfaron, brought it down, and booted it into the net off a single bounce.
"We were all kind of surprised," Wing said with a laugh. "It was like, what just happened?"
Montero later drew a penalty kick, which William Garcia took for LB's second goal. Later in the first half, Cesar Ramos pounced on the ball at midfield, weaved his way through the defense and scored unassisted.
"He took everybody on in the penalty box," Wing said.
Los Banos scored just once in the second half -- an unassisted Juvenal Vazcuez strike -- but Wing called the second half the better half.
"I told them I wanted to see better things as far as organization. I really wanted them to work on moving the ball around better," Wing said. "It was 3-0, we were not worried about scoring more goals, we were worried about playing more organized.
"The back line was keeping its shape and staying disciplined, and the midfield was coming back in support a lot better."
The Tigers open league play Tuesday against defending Western Athletic Conference champion Central Valley, and Wing warned that the teams in the Western Athletic Conference will be tougher than those LB has faced in the preseason.
"I know what we need to work on, and getting into league, I think that's going to be coming down to earth," he said. "The teams in our league are a lot harder."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at email@example.com