“In the second half, we tightened up a little on defense, we made a couple of adjustments, and we held (Livingston) in check pretty well,” said Patterson coach Greg Hartsell. “We were a little more aggressive in the second half — a little more energized.”
As the Tigers (9-0) prepare to take on Central Valley High of Ceres (11-1) Thursday night at Patterson Community Stadium, they bring with them a lengthy winning streak and a bevy of athletes looking to impress.
So far, those looking to catch Hartsell’s eye have done so.
“We’re on a roll right now. We’re playing really well,” Hartsell said. “And we’re doing it collectively. It’s not just a few individuals here, a few individuals there. We’re playing really solid as a team.”
On Tuesday, the Tigers scorched the pitch, running and shooting their way to an early advantage in the first-half.
In the 10th minute, after Patterson’s Israel Sotelo held off a Livingston defender on the right, he pushed the ball forward to Barbosa, who passed it to Herrera.
Herrera cut inside the Livingston defense and poked the ball into an opening. And with only the Wolves’ goalie to beat, Herrera booted the ball to the left side of the net to give Patterson the 1-0 lead.
In the 20th minute, Livingston (3-2-5) got a goal from Chris Gonzalez to tie the game going into halftime.
Patterson got rolling in the second half, indeed.
In the 50th minute, the Tigers struck again. Herrera took a roller from Oscar Toledo, dodged defenders, cut to his left and blasted a shot to the back of the net to make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
Barbosa’s goal in the 65th minute of the competition wound up being the decisive tally.
Barbosa streaked down the center and received a ricocheted shot from teammate Marcos Melendez. He cut back on his defender and fired a low laser that gave Patterson a 3-1 edge.
A late goal from Carlos Prado in the game’s final minute was not nearly enough to spark a comeback by Livingston as it fell to Patterson in its WAC debut for the second straight season.
“If we can keep this going, if we can stay on track, some good things should happen,” Hartsell said. “It was a great win. We’ll celebrate it tonight, but we are going to get right back to work. We are far from our goal right now.”
The Tigers will continue their season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, when they host the Central Valley Hawks.
The JV Tigers’ WAC season-opening match against the Livingston Wolves ended in a 4-0 loss Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.