For 80 minutes, the Pitman High and Turlock High boys soccer teams showcased the true meaning of a crosstown rivalry at the Turlock Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
There was physical play, with players shoving each other around in a competitive manner.
There was trash-talking, which doesn’t need any explanation.
And there was intense passion pouring out from the players, even though the two teams are on opposite ends of the Central California Conference standings. The Pride remain winless after losing 2-0 to the Bulldogs, who watched junior Diego Godinez successfully execute a free kick about midway through the first half before Samuel Mendoza knocked in a loose ball late in the game.
That means the Bulldogs are now 4-2-4 in the CCC, while the Pride are 0-6-4 in the league with five games remaining on the schedule.
In this one, Turlock controlled the game from the beginning with shot opportunities.
In the previous rivalry matchup, that was held at nighttime under the bright lights of Joe Debely Stadium on Sept. 23, the Pride held their own and forced Turlock to a draw. Both teams played well, the respective coaches and players said.
“Last game, it was at night, it was the atmosphere of playing at night and we were ready and we were bonding as a team,” Pitman forward Tariq Brown said. “Now, it’s falling apart. I think as a team, we have to stick together, work together and try hard nonstop so we can push back.”
The Bulldogs finished with nine shots, and the Pride struggled to create scoring opportunities because the Turlock defenders were tight on them. It also helped that the Bulldogs controlled the midfield, allowing the forwards to get looks at the goal.
Even so, the Pride challenged the Bulldogs all afternoon.
“Pitman played well in both games,” Turlock coach Doug Sperry said. “They played with a lot of energy and they played hard both times.”
This time, the Turlock players simply took more shots. The game was also littered with plenty of hard fouls, some of them earning yellowcards on both sides.
“The last time, we couldn’t put a goal in the back of the net; it was as simple as that,” said Godinez, the Turlock defender who was one of two scorers on this day. “We had chance after chance after chance.”
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