Los Banos High's soccer team didn't quite get the start it was hoping for in a nonleague 8-3 loss to Orestimba on Wednesday.
And it didn't take long for the wheels to come off when Orestimba's Elvis Zepeda scored off a ricochet a mere 2 minutes into the match. Zepeda finished with four goals and Ricardo Hernandez added his own hat trick when the Warriors jumped out to an 8-1 lead at halftime.
"Let's just not count the first half," Los Banos coach Wes Wing quipped. "What I like about the second half was there was a lot more communication. The line held a lot better. They weren't perfect, but they improved. They got it that they had to stay together in the back. It was a lot more composed."
With most of the LB players getting their physicals late, the squad took the field against Orestimba for the first time getting everybody together, and Wing said it showed in the first half.
"That was us trying to figure things out. They had those two guys up top just burning us every time," Wing said. "We didn't have anybody who could recover on 'D'. It was a lot of simple things. We corrected a few simple things, like not punting the ball when you have space and time to an open player, instead of just giving it away. How many times did we give it away right in front of the goal, leaving our keeper out to dry?"
Edgar Roman looked to be that guy who could sweep the ball away on defense, but he spent most of the game playing offensive midfield.
LB's only goal of the first half came with a bit of luck Orestimba goalkeeper Marcus Cunningham's bout of indecision kept him from clearing the ball cleanly in the face of a Los Banos attack, giving Rudy Garcia an open net and the ball at his feet. He finished easily to tie the score 1-1.
It didn't take long for Orestimba to open the lead though. As Orestimba eased off in the second half, LB stretched out and put two in the back of the net Gamaliel Ortiz lofted a long floater that may have been a centering pass, but dropped into the top left corner of the goal, and defensive midfielder Exon Uriel Iniguez scored from way outside the box with a booming line drive that barely escaped the goalkeeper's hands.
"It was a 2-0 second half," Wing said. "I mean, they changed things as well and probably lowered the intensity significantly, but it still showed, it's not like they weren't trying to score. It's just going to be about getting them to play better together. Working out the kinks."
Pacheco High dropped a nail-biter the same afternoon, a 3-2 loss to Gustine.
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org