When he sees his teammates slipping, Turlock High boys soccer defender Diego Godinez is not shy about letting them know.
He’d yell, “Keep up the intensity!”
Or shout, “Act like you want it!”
Or simply scream out: “Let’s go!”
But the loudest statement made Thursday afternoon at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex wasn’t made by him. It was by his teammates.
The Bulldogs, in the middle of one of the best seasons in school history, did not let up for one second against crosstown rival Pitman High in Central California Conference action, picking up a 5-0 shutout win. They continue to maintain their all-around dominance with a 15-0-1 overall record and 5-0-0 in the league.
How dominant were the Bulldogs?
Two minutes in, Ty Hyer scored his fastbreak goal from the right side.
“It gave us more confidence for the rest of the game,” the junior forward said, “and we wanted to get more.”
In this particular game, “more” might be an inaccurate description. Turlock had a 2-0 halftime lead after a Pitman own goal before forwards Jose Ortega and Edwin Rodriguez and midfielder Roberto Covarrubias provided separate scores in the second half in a game where numerous opportunities were created.
“Scoring early can be a good or bad thing,” Turlock coach Doug Sperry said. “It’s always nice to get the first one in and relax a little. Sometimes we can relax a little bit too much, but I think we handled it pretty well and kept working hard.”
Despite his team’s control of the game, Godinez still found himself shouting out encouragement. The way he sees it, there’s no excuse to let up now.
It doesn’t matter that his Bulldogs are in command of the CCC and boast one of the best starts in school history, if not the best, while anticipating back-to-back postseason berths. And it doesn’t matter that the Bulldogs have completed one-third of the league season and beaten all the other CCC teams in the process.
Godinez knows it’s important to keep his teammates alert.
“When everyone’s down,” said one of the listed captains on the Turlock team roster, “it’s kind of my job to start talking, start yelling and get everyone hyped up and focused on the game.”
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