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Late goal ties it for Bulldogs
East Union rallies for even match
turlock soccer pic 1
Turlock's Marcus DeCouto attempts to take possession of the ball back from his East Union opponent on Wednesday night. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Turlock's Sergio Jiminez knocked in the first goal of Wednesday's home game in the fifth minute against East Union but it wasn't enough as the Lancers tied the game about halfway through the second half to end the game at 1-1.


Although the Bulldogs held the lead for more than 58 minutes of the game, the Lancers kept calm and waited late in the contest to strike the back of the net.


Turlock was coming off a 1-0 loss to Patterson on Tuesday but the young 'Dogs came back the following night and showed their resilience late in the game with a man down and it gave head coach Doug Sperry and company their fourth draw of the season.


“Unfortunately we’re still trying, during these preseason games, to work on a lot and we want to win, but we also realize that the score is not the most important thing,” said Turlock head coach Doug Sperry. “Other than the goal, it was a great effort. I think it was a well played game by us. I can't complain.”


The Bulldogs are now 3-3-4 thus far heading into league play next week.


“This year is so different because we are starting five sophomores and been shuffling guys but heading into league it looks as though maybe half of our starting lineup might be underclassmen,” Sperry said. “Maybe one or two seniors starting. It’s a big difference and their young and you can see it on the field but also see their confidence grows every game.”


Turlock kept the tempo very steady on their side and handled the visiting Lancers with ease for most of the night forcing them to play in uncomfortable situations especially after going up 1-0 at home early in the opening minutes.


Jiminezs' goal was scored only five minutes in the opening half after striking up a left footed volley from just inside the top area of the left side of the penalty box, beating the goalie on a near post strike.


“Really we scored early and sort of controlled the game for the most part. They didn't really have any real scoring opportunities than the few mistakes we made on the goal,” Sperry said. “Overall our guys did well on defense, even with a man down, kept our composure, played pretty well and controlled the game.”


At the 68th minute of play, Turlock's Bryan Tzul would get kicked out of the game after receiving a red card, which forced the 'Dogs to play a man down till the end.


“It was the right play by Bryan, from what I saw is they made side contact, outside of the penalty area. He made the right play,” said Sperry.


The Lancers would notch their tying goal with 16 minutes left in the game after breaking down the Turlock defense after Dalton Gehl had been subbed in as goalkeeper for Raul Castro.


Gehl would make two game saving stops in the final 10 minutes of play and with the help of the back line the defense held steady till the end.


“We should be smarter in future games and know not to take the unnecessary yellow cards for when we head into league play and having to adjust and play with a man down late in the game,” Sperry said. “Playing three in the back was great and our plan worked out that way. Good job from our guys.”


“All these new young kids are very coachable and good guys all around so I am really excited about our direction were heading for this year and the future, I think everyone will see great things from these young guys.”


Turlock will begin league play next week as they will host Central California Conference foe, Atwater High at 5 p.m. Tuesday.