The Tigers remained unbeaten in league play by handing Los Banos High a 7-0 loss on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Patterson Community Stadium.
The teams’ latest win came on the heels of a scoreless tie against defending WAC champion Central Valley High on Thursday, Sept. 13 in Ceres.
Coach Greg Hartsell voiced his satisfaction with Patterson’s performances in the opening weeks of the 2012 league campaign, but insists that the Tigers still have room for improvement. He wants to draw more from a squad he says is loaded with potential.
“We need to take the opportunity to improve every time we step on the field,” Hartsell said. “We are still learning a lot about our team, and we need to build on it moving forward as we get ready for the rest of the season. It’s still early, so we’ll have time to work on the things we need to.”
Patterson (2-0-1 WAC) controlled the ball for the majority of the match Tuesday, patiently working it around to create several scoring opportunities, and benefiting from five different goal-scorers.
Los Banos (0-2-0) played cautiously, a failed strategy that led to the Tigers taking 19 shots on goal in the first half while limiting the visitors to only two. After Patterson took a 4-0 lead into halftime, a demoralized Los Banos squad didn’t manage a shot the rest of the way.
The Tigers got the scoring started less than eight minutes into play. Senior Kiki Gonzalez found junior Danny Rodriguez out wide with the initial pass, allowing Rodriguez to cross the ball into the box for Marcos Melendez, a sophomore, who found the back of the net to give Patterson a 1-0 lead.
In the 12th minute, Tiger sophomore Oscar Toledo received the ball about 30 yards away from the goal, and using dribbling moves to evade two defenders, created a shooting opportunity. The fullback took a rip from 20 yards out and his shot sailed into the back of the net, putting Patterson up 2-0.
With 21 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the first half, a surging run through midfield by Gonzalez created another chance for Patterson. His shot from inside the box proved too hot for Los Banos’ keeper to hold, and the ball was slotted home into the bottom corner.
In the 34th minute, the Tigers played a ball down the right flank for Gonzalez, who sent a low cross across the face of the goal box. His ball got through everyone to the back post, where junior Osvaldo Barbosa was lurking. Barbosa flicked the ball past Los Banos’ keeper for a four-goal lead at the intermission.
“Everyone has a job to do on this team,” Hartsell said. “We are at our best when we are each doing what is expected of us.”
An own goal in the 43rd minute gave the Tigers just the start it wanted in the second half, and as the game progressed, Hartsell took advantage of Patteron’s advantage by giving some of his key players a break for significant portions of the match.
“That’s kind of what I was hoping to do,” Hartsell said. “This is a tough, competitive league, and we want to be as fresh as we can be for each match.”
In the 48th minute, Patterson junior Yehia Obeid took the ball forward into the box and calmly shot low and to the back post, to make it 6-0.
With under two minutes to play, junior Wilver Barajas played a through-ball to the overlapping Obeid, who surged down the center of the field with the ball and delivered a chip past a diving Los Banos keeper for the final margin of victory.
“Right now, we’re really starting to come into our own as a team and as individuals,” Hartsell said.
The Tigers will continue their season at 6:30 p.m. today, Sept. 20, when they host the Ceres High Bulldogs (2-0).
The Patterson High JV boys soccer team suffered its first WAC defeat of the season last week, a 6-2 loss to Central Valley High on Thursday, Sept. 13 in Ceres.
Maurico Gallardo and Jordy Corral each lit up the scoreboard with a goal apiece for Patterson (0-1-1).
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.