Denair High's varsity boys’ soccer team dominated Big Valley Christian, 7-0 at home on Thursday in a preseason matchup.
The Coyotes and head coach Paul Oei had been working hard in the offseason and the hard work looked to pay off, at least in the second half, when the Coyotes went on a scoring frenzy and knocked in five goals to add on to the two from the first half.
Big Valley competed with only 10 players and when the fatigue set in for the visitors, the Coyotes took advantage with fresh legs and precision passing.
“Towards the end after we scored some goals in the first, I told the team we needed to play a little better and move the ball more through the midfield and it showed,” said Oei. “That's what we had been working on with our formation and it was great that they can move the ball and it was great to get open in spaces and create spaces for other players.”
The spacing was not a problem really throughout the game as the Lions struggled after 15 to 20 minutes.
Denair would strike first in the 28th minute after Jiovani Diaz headed in the game’s first goal after a precise corner kick.
Two minutes later, Brallan Hernandez found a crease and struck a shot but it sailed right under him.
Then with about two minutes left in the first half, the player of the game, Isaac Starks, would finish with his first goal to put his team up 2-0 just seconds before the halftime whistle was blown.
“At first I told them that I would like to play the ball around a little bit and see if we can move the ball around and we did a good job of that as well,” said Oei. “But as the second half started, I wanted to get a bigger lead so the strategy changed and we put pressure on and as you saw it worked out for us.”
The pressure was on in the second. Not even 10 minutes into the second half, Edwin Flores found Tyler Wronski open who drilled the third goal of the game to put the Coyotes up 3-0 at that point.
Three minutes later Flores would find the back of the net to go up 4-0.
The Coyotes were not finished, however, and added two more afterwards as Starks struck the back of the net for his second goal at the 66th from 16 yards out and his put the team up 6-0.
“Isaac plays different sports in the offseason and summer time so he is always staying in shape,” Oei said about Starks. “We had soccer programs during the summer which he was showing up to and since he was a freshman he has been playing with so many travel ball players, so I know he has got the technical skill level. He is our most technically skilled player.”
Finally with little less than 10 minutes left of regulation, Starks launched an accurate cross to Cesar Flores who capitalized on the play to put the game away at 7-0.
“We have a lot of guys to put in whenever and the ball movement seems to be better so we are not running as much or getting as tired and conserving our energy and playing smarter so that’s good,” said Oei. “We are able to apply pressure and it’s great for us. Our movement is so much better. Last year we were practicing technical stuff at this time where this year we are working on formations.”
The Denair boys will compete in the Ripon Christian Soccer Tournament on Saturday with the tournament starting at 9 a.m.