Turlock Christian’s boys soccer team had one final time to redeem themselves against Stone Ridge Christian on Tuesday, and perhaps stay in a playoff hunt, but unfortunately when the final whistle blew, they fell in a close 2-1 road battle, closing out the year with an 0-2 record against SRC.
“We dominated possession in the second half and had more goal scoring threats, but it came down to the first half error where our keeper made a poor decision and gave them the ball and the goal,” said TC head coach Tevin Jones. “They came out and played hard in the second half and I was happy about that, to end it on a good note.”
TC is currently 4-9-2 overall and 2-3 in the Central California Athletic Alliance following Tuesday’s loss and have dropped two of the last three.
“It’s possible to win out and make the playoffs but the odds are not in our favor. It will be challenging because we have two playoff spots and then two teams that usually dominate our league every season,” said Jones.
So far this year, Venture Academy is 4-0 heading into Tuesday while Millennium is 3-1.
TC was in third, but fell to fourth after SRC pulled off the victory.
VA has not lost a game in the last two and a half seasons, winning the CCAA title the last two years with unblemished records.
In 2016-17, VA went 8-0 then were 10-0 last season.
Tuesday’s game was critical, and TC knew it.
The Eagles matched SRC until the 35th minute when the Knights took a 1-0 lead at the half.
“Our keeper just rolled the ball out to a teammate and they got the ball and just put it in the back of the net, easy, just gave it to them,” said Jones. “We played alright prior to that and we had more opportunities than them and that is just how soccer is any given day. In the second half we came out more aggressive and played more offensive and it paid off well, but gave up that one goal that we shouldn’t have but we played alright.”
By the start of the second half, TC was controlling possession despite being neutralized by the SRC back-line.
That back-line consisted of captain Jackson DeJager along with Ethan Smith and Carson Dahlhoff, who were stable in the back, with the exception of the TC goal in the 80th minute.
SRC scored again in the 64th minute to go up 2-0.
TC continued to press forward despite being down two goals and then finally on a last-minute set-piece, TC capitalized and struck their lone goal of the game.
Jed Park headed in a second chance opportunity after the ball was cleared halfway by the opposing keeper.
The ball then made its way back into the middle of the pile in front of the goalie’s box and the header sailed perfectly over the keeper’s head, beating the last defender as it gently bounced its way into the back of the net to end it 2-1.
“This time we had more players, 11 and no subs, but we had guys gone on Christmas vacation then and we had them back, different players and different personnel,” said Jones. “Last couple seconds we flooded the box and put all 10 in the box and had a free kick taker and our goalkeeper was even up there trying to get a head on it, so one of those things where it falls luckily, but their defense was solid today.”
TC’s next game will be a non-league game against Vanguard College Prep at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.