Luke Redman notched four goals while Ethan Gardner put in the team’s fifth goal and the No. 1 Turlock High Bulldogs varsity soccer team put away No. 16 Chavez High, 5-1, in the first round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Tuesday.
“I was really happy with the way our guys came out and played, especially coming off our only loss of the year,” said Turlock head coach Doug Sperry. “They took it pretty hard since they had really high goals for themselves this year, but came out the next day of practice and it was business as usual, everybody was working hard.”
Turlock was able to shake off their only loss of the year against crosstown and league rivals Pitman and refocus against Chavez High.
It was a shaky first half, however, for the Bulldogs. They finally settled in the second half after a 1-1 score.
“We’ve never been down other than that Pitman game, so it was a new thing for us. But it is something that can and will happen, it is no big deal, we will score goals and be fine, and after that part we started scoring a lot better in the second half,” said Sperry.
Seven minutes into the second half, Redman notched his second goal of the game on a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.
Redman managed to flick it over the goalie’s head from about 13 yards away and they took a 2-1 lead.
About 13 minutes later at the 60-minute mark, Redman completed the hat-trick with his third goal to make it 3-1.
Exactly one minute later Redman got his fourth goal off another flick over the goalie’s head and it was 4-1.
Ethan Gardner knocked in the fifth goal for the ‘Dogs.
“We still should have finished a little better,” said Sperry. “We left a lot of goals that, for whatever reason, we just couldn’t find the back of the net, and winning any playoff game is a big thing and we are ready for Thursday. Just finishing, we talked about it and we had guys make better opportunities in the second half, but for themselves, created big chances, and we gave ourselves a greater chance to score.”
Turlock improves to 20-1-3 overall and are ranked No. 18 in California.
The Bulldogs advance to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs to take on No. 8 Franklin of Stockton at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“The greatest part of these guys, this group, is just their work ethic, they came out to practice and everything you set them up to do is done 110 percent, all in, all the time and great enthusiasm and a great group to coach,” Sperry added.