All it took was one score for the Delhi High soccer team to defeat Southern Athletic League foe, Mariposa, on Monday in what was a tough defensive battle between both squads.
The only goal of the day would come from the Hawks in the first half en route to a 1-0 victory and a leap into second place of the SAL with a 5-2-1 record, just behind Le Grand.
“The kids were on their game today. I think it is just the competition from Mariposa, they always come out here ready to play and it just seems that everybody comes out and plays us hard,” Delhi head coach Aramando Salazar said.
Besides the solo goal from the Hawks, much of the first half was a physical bout for both defenses as they were containing anything from striking the back of the net, but Delhi was able to capitalize on a Mariposa slip halfway through the first.
Nineteen minutes in, Mario Moran drilled a shot from inside the box to the opposite corner to put the first and, eventually, the only goal of the game up.
“We were able to pull ahead from them and that made the difference; and after that it was to try and get the second score and they pressured us so we just moved to play defensively,” Salazar said.
The defensive effort for the Hawks continued into the second half as they were able to contain Mariposa, forcing bad passes and capitalizing by holding on to the ball in their half of the field in the closing minutes.
With that, the Hawks were able to pick up their second victory of the year over the Grizzlies.
“The second time around that any teams meet, both teams get stronger and the game is tougher to win,” Salazar said. “Today we were able to pull it off.”
With only four games remaining, Delhi will have to win out in order to have a chance at a league title with Ripon Christian, Le Grand and Waterford High all still in the hunt.
“Every game gets tougher, and that’s what I tell the players that they need to be ready to step it up every single game,” Salazar said.
Next, Delhi will travel to Denair with a starting time of 4 p.m. today.