After enduring an uncharacteristic stretch of two ties and a loss in the four previous games, the Turlock High boys soccer players redeemed themselves in Tuesday night’s matchup with crosstown rival Pitman High en route to a 4-0 win in Central California Conference action. Four different players scored at Debely Stadium in front of hundreds of fans, as three of goals came in the second half.
The victory also sets up another chance for redemption. On Thursday night, the Bulldogs (16-1-2, 7-1-1 CCC) will host Merced High — the only team to give Turlock a loss this season. The meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Debely Stadium.
“They took it to us last time,” said coach Doug Sperry about the Bears, who also forced a tie with his Bulldogs in the Pitman Pride Cup in August. “It’s something we haven’t forgotten. We look forward to get back out there and win.”
It wasn’t until the 14th minute that the Bulldogs scored against Pitman, whom they easily eclipsed 5-0 on Sept. 22. Junior forward Ty Hyer timed just right a pass directed toward the goal and two Pitman defenders, including the goalkeeper — as he headed the ball for the early score. That kind of determination and persistence continued in the second half, when Isaias Castellanos, Ricky Bravo and Roberto Covarrubias each wrapped up the evening game with a goal apiece.
The Turlock defense didn’t allow the Pitman offense to have many scoring opportunities in the second half. It wasn’t until less than 20 minutes left that the Pride truly advanced past midfield.
Pitman’s best chance at scoring happened early in the first half, when Tommy Vieira raced past a couple of Turlock defenders to fire a shot. But goalkeeper Flavio Castro got in the way, as he dove and deflected the ball.
This wasn’t the Pride’s night.
It was Turlock’s.
After settling for two ties with Atwater High and Golden Valley High and suffering through the 4-0 defeat by Merced, the Bulldogs are anxious for some redemption. The Bears are next.
“It reminded that we needed to come out harder the next time,” Hyer said about losing to Merced. “I think we can do it. We just have to be confident. This was a good win for us, to build our confidence.”