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Turlock soccer ties GV at home
Marcus DeCouto brings the ball down the field and attempts a field goal in hopes of scoring for the Bulldogs on Tuesday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Tuesday night was a stalemate for the Turlock High varsity boys soccer team in their third Central California Conference matchup as they hosted the state’s 17th ranked Golden Valley Cougars.

Unable to grab their first win in conference, but holding off from a loss, the Bulldogs (0-1-2) tied the Golden Valley Cougars (1-1-1) with one goal apiece.

The Bulldogs scored their lone goal on their first shot attempt by James Filling five minutes into the game.

“The ball came to me when I was in the box, and I figured since I was in the box I might as well shoot,” said Filling.  “It was a horrible shot but it went in—so I’ll take it.”

Turlock’s backfield kept the ball on the other side of the field setting the tempo for the ‘Dogs offense to have more opportunities to score.

“I thought we controlled the game for the most part and created a lot of opportunities to finish in the first half,” said Turlock head coach Doug Sperry. “We just didn’t capitalize on them unfortunately, but all in all [we] played pretty well.”

The Cougars' goal came 23 minutes into the first half from Sergio Soltero close in the box to cap off the goals for the night. Both Turlock and Golden Valley went 57 minutes without the ball finding the back of the net.

 “It was good for us to get that early goal, but sometimes it’s tough because you don’t know if it’s going to pump you up or cause you to relax a little bit,” said Sperry. “Initially I would say it got us going but we did flatten out a little bit and coasted for awhile, unfortunately, instead of really fighting for that next goal.”

The Bulldogs came out slow in the beginning of the second half, but their aggressive attack was evident in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Golden Valley’s defense came to life in the second half which forced Turlock to settle for uncomfortable shots.

Luis Carrillo, Turlock’s goalkeeper, was put to work 15 minutes into the second half with back-to-back saves, one resulting in a full split to steer the ball away from the corner of the goal.

“Tonight was a team effort really all the way around—defensively, offensively—we all did pretty well,” said Sperry. “A pretty solid effort, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.”

The Bulldogs will take on the Thunder at Buhach Colony at 4 p.m. Thursday.

“We’re just going to work hard in practice and come out strong to try and put them away in the first half,” added Filling. “That seems to be our strength.”