Success has eluded Denair and Turlock Christian High on the soccer field this September but Thursday’s matchup between the rival, winless schools would change that, as one team was guaranteed to leave with a coveted first league win.
The Coyotes (1-4-1 SAL) entered the afternoon match with the Eagles (0-6 SAL) with more than victory on their minds, however. They wanted respect and they got it with a 6-0 win.
“I told them no one was going to give us respect; we had to go out and get it ourselves,” Denair’s head coach Greggorio DeLoa said.
Denair’s season high scoring effort was headed by senior Patrick Dudley and his two goals on the day. By controlling the ball and limiting TC’s touches the Coyotes were able to clear the way for freshman Isaac Starks, junior Quentin Allen, and seniors Ryan Hirschkorn and Luke Tosti to find the net as well.
“If we don’t get our touches under control we’re just giving the ball to the other team,” DeLoa said. “They definitely improved on that.”
Denair’s defense also stepped up its game, emphasizing shared accountability and preventing a Southern Athletic League opponent from scoring for the first time this season. It was the fourth time in SAL competition that TC failed to get on the scoreboard.
“We know we can do it so now we expect that of ourselves, no matter who we’re playing,” DeLoa said. “We need to keep putting the work in.”
With eight more matches in the regular season Denair hopes its first win will spur a boost in confidence that will in turn translate into more victories. The Coyotes next challenge comes Monday against Waterford High.
As for the Eagles, their quest for their first victory continues on Monday as well when the team travels to Delhi High to face the number one ranked undefeated Hawks.