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Pitman falls to No. 1 Atwater after four second-half scores
Pitman boys 1
Ramsin Larios of Pitman looks to make a sideline pass around an Atwater defender during the second half of Tuesdays CCC matchup. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Two of the top 10 high school varsity boys soccer teams from the same conference met on the pitch on Tuesday afternoon for a Central California Conference clash.

From the opening touch, Pitman was feeling the groove and about 17 minutes into the game, Jonathan Galdamez found teammate Brandon Pineda for the first goal of the match.

Atwater pushed back, notching the game-tying goal before the half, but that was just the beginning for the Falcons as they scored four more goals in the second half to take a 5-1 victory over the Pride.

“It was a good game. I don’t think the score reflects what happened on the pitch, but that’s the game,” said Pitman assistant head coach Cesar Mercado. “I think we played well, even for the most part but they just scored more than we did.”

Atwater has been consistent all season long, amassing a record of 20-0-3, including a CCC posting of 10-0-2, good enough for first place.

Pitman drops to 14-5-3 overall and 8-3-1 in the CCC, still sitting comfortably in second place.

“This was Atwater’s moment, they are a very consistent team,” said Mercado.

The loss also snaps a five-game win streak for the Pride. The last loss for the Pride was on Sept. 24 to Merced.

After Pitman fired away in the opening minutes to take the lead, Atwater stayed with it and consistently began to pressure the Pride defense.

It was Eduardo Cebrero who notched the first of five goals for the Falcons at about the 29 minute mark.

From there on, the Pride played an unorthodox style while it was apparent that the Falcons were only getting more comfortable as the game progressed and the score began to rise.

“My respects to Atwater, they are very good and we just need to stay mentally focused for each second of the game,” said Mercado about the results.

It didn’t take long for Atwater to take the lead. Just six minutes into the second half, Christian Fuentes scored the go-ahead goal and from there on the Falcons put on a scoring showcase.

Pitman found it very difficult to slice the defense that was anchored by center back Alex Rios.

“I think we kind of got ahead of ourselves since we started winning after a phenomenal play and then they scored and it took the juice out of us when we were doing so well,” said Mercado. “Then one individual play ties it, and it’s hard to shake it off and I don’t think we shook it off.”

Atwater closed the game with Cebrero’s third and final goal at the 90 minute mark, notching five unanswered to close out the match.

“Even before the game I was confident in our kids because they are technically gifted and wise so moving forward we should be alright this was just a hiccup,” Mercado added.

The next game for Pitman will be on the road against Buhach Colony at 4 p.m. Thursday.