The 2023 Pride Cup is underway at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. While Pitman High, the host team of the tournament, got off to a hot start Friday morning with a 6-1 win over the Central Catholic Raiders (Modesto), they fell to the Delhi Hawks 2-1 to cap their day.
In the 6-1 win, the Pride were led by Alessandro Nakamura, who found the back of the net twice. Also contributing with goals were Sebastian Chahal, Giovanny De Casso, Antonio Rasuli and Noah Shamoon.
Against Delhi, their lone score came from Keegan Pires.
“Offensively, that’s where we’re good right now. And of course at this point, there’s room to improve. But defensively, we’re kind of inexperienced. We’re struggling a bit, but this tournament is a good opportunity to learn,” explained second year Pitman head coach Manny Romero.
Despite the mixed results, the early season games will allow the coaching staff to evaluate the state of the team while giving the student-athletes valuable in-game experience ahead of league competition.
“These tournaments are good practice and help us see where we stand. We're trying to get this team in a good style of play,” Romero said.
This year, Romero has recruited Ricky Rosas as his assistant. The two played together at UC Merced and continue to compete alongside one another at the semi-professional level with Turlock’s Academica SC.
“With me and my assistant, Ricky, these are some great opportunities for us to try to teach the things that we learned in our college career,” Romero continued. “We definitely want to establish that here this weekend.”
Pitman will be back in action for the second day of Pride Cup play today at 11:15 a.m. when they take on Edison (Stockton).
Overall records in the tournament as well as scoring differential will determine who will play in the championship game at 2:45 p.m. at Pitman High School. Meanwhile, four consolation games will be played at 2:45 at the Sports Complex.