It was a good day to be a Bobcat, as both soccer teams notched victories Tuesday over visiting P-SJ-A.
For the boys of Coach Luis Cardenas, the 3-1 triumph evened their district record at 2-2 and gave them some relief after a squandered opportunity versus P-SJ-A Memorial in the last outing, The Bobcats led the Wolverines 2-0 Feb. 3 before dropping it, 3-2.
As Cardenas’ side has recently welcomed a series of seniors back to the mix – they were sidelined for various reasons – all of a sudden this team is looking menacing.
Tuesday it was senior Mario Mendoza with the star turn as the burly yet lithe veteran sent two lasers into the net in the last two minutes of the opening half to break up a nil-nil tie. With exceptional deftness, Donna transfer Mendoza is able to navigate in and around opponents in the box, though at first glance he looks more like a linebacker.
Another Bobcat who is making waves these days is Francisco Hernandez, a very tricky dribbler who helped key the 3-1 victory. The Bobcats worked against the wind for the second half but increased their lead nonetheless, on Hernandez’ goal early on. He rebounded a blocked shot of his to slot the ball for the 3-goal advantage.
From there, P-SJ-A attacked with a vengeance, ripping off 10 shots in the last 30 minutes. But goalkeeper Jonathan Che held the fort with ample assistance from his defense. The Bears finally broke through inside of 10 minutes.
In the girls’ match, the Lady Bobcats earned their first win of the league season, getting a brace from an exciting newcomer and making a firm defensive stand down the stretch of a 3-2 result. Freshman Leah Sanchez has been a consistent offensive threat so far with quickness and elusive ball work. She may be tiny but that girl can flat score, reminding one a bit of former Vela ace Chery Chavez, another mighty mite who made the grade and then some.
Actually, Coach Cerjio Elizarraraz has a bunch of youngsters playing key roles in 2018 as rookies Sarah Garcia and Kristen Salinas are regulars on the pitch along with the pixie-like Sanchez.
“We are seeing as the season goes along who is dedicated to the team, and tonight’s win is a tribute to those girls who have been committed, been here, and are working hard to improve,” said Elizararraz, the long-time coach who has guided both girls’ and boys’ squads in his tenure at the school.
Along with the new faces, the Lady Bobcats have some tested quantities, including senior Adamaris Rios and junior Debanhi Rodriguez. Rios is manning the defensive charge these days after some time spent up front in the past while Rodriguez is a rugged and steady contributor in the midfield along with junior Regina Monroy.