Pitman varsity boys’ soccer had notched a 3-0-1 record in the Pitman Pride Cup tournament this weekend but failed to match that same intensity in Thursday's preseason home match with Buchanan of Clovis.
The Pride came out and played like an uneasy team that was impatient at times and unfortunately their poor play resulted in a 3-0 shutout for only their second loss of the season and first loss since Nov. 30.
“We didn't click for 80 minutes today. We clicked for about 45 minutes,” said Pitman coach Sergio Sousa. “We started off hot and could've been up early in the first 10 minutes of the game if we were a bit sharper at the net — then it’s a different outcome and the game unfolds differently.”
Unfortunately it unfolded the wrong way for the Pride.
Competing against a much larger in size and stronger team in Buchanan, Pitman knew they had to pull through and dig deep for an opportunity to happen, only it never really happened.
It was sporadic and the opportunities created were contested as Buchanan was able to match and propel themselves over Pitman from start to finish.
Within the first 10 minutes, Pitman began to press immediately, but couldn't break the back-line.
Even the 50-50 balls in the air, especially on set pieces, were tough to get for the Pride, especially in the first half.
“I think we were at a high right away but we sort of burnt out and mentally we crumbled,” said Sousa. “In the wins compared to today, we were more unified.”
The unity was unclear as Pitman's passes were stolen or turned over consistently, creating chances for Buchanan for the majority of the game.
Once the 11 minute hit, Buchanan finally broke the game wide open on a header that was put in with ease.
“In our other wins, everyone bought into it and today it seemed like we accepted we were second best and that doesn't win you games. Doesn't matter if you play a good or weak team,” said Sousa.
Buchanan, who still hasn't lost after six preseason bouts, took the first goal as an opportunity to create more goals, however, only one more goal was scored for the remainder of the half.
Pride goalkeeper Vladimir Montejo managed over half a dozen saves in the first half alone while Buchanan attempted over double digit shots in the first half as both sides went into the break with a 2-0 score.
The energy was picked up by Pitman in the second half, only it was too late, especially once Buchanan knocked in their third goal just minutes in to secure the final score of 3-0.
“In the second we created opportunities but we just weren't sharp and it should be a process,” said Sousa. “If we look at this game and search for the good things, then we should be fine and should perform and that is why we have preseason so we can get the kinks out now and fix what we need to for league.”
Pitman will travel on the road for back-to-back preseason contests against Half Moon Bay and Napa, starting with a road showdown against Half Moon Bay at 5 p.m. Friday.