The only team that is going to beat the Hilmar boys’ varsity soccer squad are themselves.
Since the offseason head coach Louie Bettencourt has implemented these words into the Yellowjackets soccer team and the more they play, the more they continue to believe. Especially after dominating Riverbank High at home on Thursday in a Trans Valley League battle.
A total of five goals were notched in the first half of Thursday's contest with Hilmar taking a 3-2 lead heading into the half and essentially, the 'Jackets executed as they have all season long, scoring three unanswered to take another four-goal win at 6-2.
“Well at halftime I made it clear that we need to hold the lead and second we need to get that fourth goal and when we get that it’s game over,” said Bettencourt. “I always try to not let them be satisfied just because we are ahead — doesn’t mean you will win.”
Well they did.
The victory also marks the 'Jackets 10th consecutive, including a first place TVL record of 5-0-1, the only final unbeaten team in league heading into the weekend.
Hilmar's last loss was on Sept. 1, after a one goal loss to Ceres.
“I had expectations that we could do it, but it was about our defense if we could hold because we had fire power but potential was there. I did not expect many goals like we have been doing,” said Bettencourt.
Hilmar has been finishing off very strong lately, having scored four goals or more in the past five games, outscoring opponents 28-5 during that span.
“I guess when you get on a roll then you always push for more and I never said to leave it in the refs hands, we have to finish stuff strong and we have so far, but I won't let them settle,” said Bettencourt. “That is why we are never satisfied. You can always improve no matter what.”
Joshua Martinez started things off with a nice header at about the 14 minute mark, then Jaime Carbajal notched his first of two to take a 2-0 lead over Riverbank on Thursday.
Hilmar scored one more in the first half and Riverbank went on to score two more before the half ended to go into break with the 'Jackets leading, 3-2.
About four minutes into the second half, Carbajal notched his second goal and Hilmar's 4-2 lead just seemed too heavy for Riverbank to respond.
“That changed things,” said Bettencourt of the fourth goal. “It took pressure off us.”
Agustin Granados hit a blast from about 28 yards out for the fifth goal and Adrian Yepez closed out the afternoon with a penalty kick in the second half.
“I try to take one game at a time and stay focused because there is a bigger picture to go into playoffs, but we want to get to that point to see where we can get and take advantage of situations,” Bettencourt added. “Sometimes I don't give them enough credit but it’s to improve and get better, I don’t want to see them relax.”
Hilmar's next game will be their senior night at 4 p.m. Thursday.