In their first Trans Valley League meeting this season, the Hilmar High boys’ soccer team was able to dominate their rivals, Escalon High, in a 3-0 shutout.
Despite multiple shots on target that were missed, including numerous shots from far out that sailed away, the ‘Jackets offense was able to tack on one goal in the first and two in the second half behind a strong defensive effort.
“This win gives us a confidence booster, especially being a league game. We dominated but couldn’t put finishing touches in the beginning. One of those things that you look at are the missed opportunities. We lacked in finishing today,” Hilmar head coach Louie Bettencourt. “Within the first 15 minutes we should have had three goals, but we need to do a better job of finishing. Sometimes we miss too much just like we did.”
Hilmar's offensive surge started early on Monday, as the 'Jackets dominated ball possession and made multiple shots on target in the first half. The first goal started with Arturo Moran, who passed it to Osiris Guerrero just outside the goalie's box to drain it in the 31st minute.
The Yellowjackets didn't slow down in the second half, as Guerrero drained the second goal by the 20th. Moran netted the third and final goal after getting moved from forward to wing 10 minutes later as he took a shot from an angle and hit the far post and it bounced in.
Despite the shutout victory, Coach Bettencourt isn't letting his guard down.
“We can’t let our guard down and can’t let a team toy with (us) because things happen so quickly that the other team can score just as fast,” Bettencourt said.
After a tie on Monday between Ripon and Riverbank High left both squads at 3-0-1 in league, the Yellowjackets (7-8-1 overall, 4-1 TVL) took the first place spot in TVL, for now. But there is no tougher league for boys’ soccer in the valley than the Trans Valley League.
“Putting the ball in the back of the net is huge and playing the best we can, we will see how it comes out,” Bettencourt said.
The ‘Jackets will host Ripon High at 4 p.m. Monday.