Turlock High’s Jose Aguilera netted the first two goals and Mason Harp added the finisher in the second half of Wednesday’s match en route to a 3-2 win over the Cougars from Golden Valley.
It was a physical match between the Cougars and Bulldogs, as they fought back and forth but eventually the ‘Dogs prevailed. The ‘Dogs improve to a 3-5 record in the Central California Conference, leaping past Merced and Golden Valley in the CCC standings and now sit just behind Buhach Colony (4-3-1).
“It’s a win that is really important for us because I think we’ve been struggling for a little while now,” Turlock head coach Doug Sperry said. “We just haven’t been able to put everything together and it feels good to finally get a win even though we didn’t play well and it was sort of ugly and we gave up those goals by making mistakes. But it was big. We really needed this.”
Turlock’s first score came in the 25th minute of the first half when Aguilera took a pass from Victor Orozco and blasted it in. Golden Valley would respond with three minutes left after Esten Schroeder drilled a shot into the back of the net from the top of the box to tie it just before the half.
In the first eight minutes Marcus DeCouto made a tremendous pass to Aguilera who shot it in the back of the net to put his team up. All but seven minutes later, the Cougars responded as Eric Vasquez made it 2-2 with 25 minutes left to-go.
“We have had a bad tendency to let down when we make mistakes like that, but our guys didn’t give up and kept fighting till the end,” Sperry said. “We actually finished, which we haven’t been doing too well all year and that was a big difference, and that is what it comes down to — the kids did a really good job.”
With plenty of time left on the clock, Turlock knew there was no rush, however, within a minute after, Mason Harp drove it down halfway through the field and in between the defenders as he shot it over the goalie’s left shoulder from the right side of the box. This would eventually be the game sealer.
“Hopefully this is the win that will get us moving in the right direction, we’ve had a few tough games here and there,” Sperry said.
Turlock has now beaten the Cougars two out of the three times they have met this year with one last matchup on Oct. 23.
Next for the ‘Dogs will be a neutral match at Warriors Stadium on the campus of California State University, Stanislaus at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We have a big game Saturday against Pitman, which our guys will be pumped up for, but the way our schedules working this might be perfect timing,” Sperry said.