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Denair boys cruise past Ripon Christian
Girls drop tight contest in Tuesday doubleheader
Denair boys soccer
Denair High’s Angel Hernandez celebrates his first of three goals of the night, leading the way with a hat trick on Tuesday night as the Coyotes took down the Knights of Ripon Christian by a score of 6-0 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Both varsity boys and girls soccer teams of Denair High School took the field on Tuesday afternoon as part of a Southern League doubleheader against the Knights of Ripon Christian. Though the Lady Coyotes fell in the opening game by a score of 1-0, the boys compensated with a 6-0 route of the Knights.

In the scoring frenzy in the boys nightcap, the Coyotes were led by senior Angel Sanchez, who earned himself a hat trick with goals in the 24th, 31st and 46th minutes of the match. Sanchez was one of the few regular starters who played the entirety of the game, as many of his teammates received a first half rest. It’s safe to say he took full advantage of the opportunity.

Denair girls soccer
Denair High’s Abby Hernandez and Ripon Christian’s Maya Dejong battle for the ball during Tuesday night’s Southern League matchup, a game that would wind up being 1-0 in favor of the Knights (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

“I actually didn’t know the starters were going to be resting,” Sanchez admitted. “It actually gave me a chance to make some things happen. I obviously set standards for myself for where I want to get to, so putting up three goals is a must every time, especially since I’m a striker and that’s my job.”

Denair head coach Antonio Padilla joked that he liked every aspect of the game from each and every one of his players but made sure to highlight Sanchez’s scoring display.

“I liked everything,” Padilla said. “They play hard and teamwork makes it simple soccer. They give 100% every time they go in, but Angel is one of those guys who is a good and hard worker, but what sets him apart is that he’s a leader. Every game and practice he gives 200% and we know that to get far in life, you have to work hard. That’s the message and he gets the message quick.”

Goals were also scored by Goliath Padilla, Brandon Corona and Justin Hernandez, helping the Coyotes improve their Southern League record to 3-1, which is good enough for a first place tie with Orestimba High of Newman. They will be back in action on Friday against league opponent Waterford High.

In the girls game, despite there only being one goal between the two teams, action was plentiful. The Knights ended controlled the ball for the majority of the match and were able to fire off 14 shots on goal. While Ripon Christian’s Helia Vander Meulen scored the game’s only goal in the 60th minute, the damage could’ve been a lot worse if not for Denair goalkeeper Maryfer Carrillo.

By game’s end, Carrillo racked up six saves, including one on a penalty try by Johana Aguirre to keep things scoreless heading into the half. It was an effort that drew praise from Denair head coach Mark Morphy.

“She is fantastic,” Morphy said. “She did very well and I was very pleased with her. A little dribbler got in there, but she saved everything else. It’s always impresses me how well she has done considering this is her first year playing.”

Despite the losing effort, Morphy is confident that they can give other teams in the league a run for their money considering how well they played against a much bigger team in the Knights.

“We played tough, but RC just contained the ball and controlled the ball quite well. RC and these other teams try to beat up on us and they didn’t today. It gives us a lot of optimism going forward. Our girls are doing well,” he said.

The Lady Coyotes drop to 1-2-1 in Southern League play, pushing them down to fifth place. Like the boys, they will also be back in action against league opponent Waterford High, with their game taking place on Thursday.