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Year comes to a close in semifinal for Pride boys soccer
pitman boys soccer1
Luis Bryan Manriquez of Pitman High looks to get away from a Jesuit defender during Tuesday’s 3-0 loss in the semifinal game of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Despite Tuesday’s semifinal loss to Jesuit High in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs, the Pitman Pride boys soccer team has a lot to be proud of after a historic 2018-19 campaign that saw them reach No. 7 in California and No. 39 in the country.

“I can’t be any happier with these guys, league title and get this far in the playoffs, great season overall,” said Pitman head coach Brian Hofsteen. “Actually, a core of the team is coming back, so looking forward to next year.”

On Tuesday they had many opportunities, especially in the first half, including two clear open looks on the far side. However, neither went in and the rest of the game was Jesuit pressuring and double teaming whoever touched the ball for the Pride. Jesuit was able to score 3 goals on the Pride to secure the victory.

“You saw the three opportunities, golden opportunities, but open side of the net and kicked it right at them, and it killed the momentum for sure,” said Hofsteen.

Jesuit swarmed the ball and notched their first goal at the 40th minute to go up 1-0.

Without one of their starting defenders who got a red card in the last game against Oak Ridge, Pitman was without a key player.

Jesuit scored their second goal in the 56th minute and the third came with two minutes left in the game.

Jesuit moves to the D-I championship game with a record of 22-2-3.

Pitman closes out the year with an overall record of 19-3 and a share of the first ever Central California Athletic League title after tying with Turlock at 9-1.

“The core and foundation are there, definitely going to miss the guys but I think we can fit the pieces like we did and go again,” Hofsteen added.