GALT — Two area high school boys soccer teams that have tasted plenty of success battled in a non-league game on the Erv Hatzenbuhler Field of Warrior Stadium on Tuesday.
After 80 minutes of their game, the scoreboard on the south end of the stadium had: Galt 2, Tokay 0.
“This was really going to be a good game that we were going to get a test out of,” said Tokay head coach Ruben Gomez. “Everybody is going to get tested because they (Galt) are one of the better teams that we are going to play all year.”
Galt head coach Alfredo Renteria added, “We’ve been looking at new formations because we’ve lost a lot of players. Tokay is a tough team. They were hard to get by.”
In the 24th minute of the game, Galt defender Ernesto Beccerra broke a 0-0 score. In the middle of Tokay’s goal along with nearly a half-dozen Warrior and Tiger players, Beccerra took a corner kicker and buried the ball into the right corner of the goal for a 1-0 score.
“We’ve been working a lot on our set plays,” Renteria said. “We’ve been working a lot on our heading, make sure that we win those, especially when we’re on the attack. And we did win a lot of those balls.”
In the remaining minutes of the opening half, Galt (2-0) and Tokay (0-1-1) were defensive about letting the other trying to push the ball toward their opponent’s net.
“We started with four different kids in the back today,” Gomez said. “I feel that by the time league starts, I should have, hopefully, my back (field) that I want to use.”
Tokay’s Eduardo Rodriguez had a shot on goal in the 58th minute of the game. Shooting the soccer ball at the south end of the field, Rodriguez’s kick, coming from the left side, looked like it had enough push to go into the net. But the ball went outside on the right side of the net.
Galt had two shots on goal before its final goal in the second half. Midfielder Gonzalo Garcia had the first one at Tokay’s goal at the north end of the field. But the soccer ball sailed over the net.
At the 66th minute, Warrior forward Enrique Hernandez, only a sophomore, had the next opportunity. But the slow roller rolled to the left side of the net and out of bounds.
Three minutes later, Galt tacked on its final goal of the game. Forward Juan Cruz, from crossfield on Tokay’s sideline, took a bad pass from a Tiger player and fired the ball into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 score.
“Looks like we created a lot of chances today,” Renteria said.
Tokay’s final chance to score came at the 75th minute of the game on a penalty kick. Edurado Guillen, one of the Tigers’ two captains, was fouled hard in the box. That sent him 1 on 1 with Galt goalkeeper Daniel Maravilla on the penalty kick. But Guillen’s shot rolled outside the box and out of bounds.
“We did struggle,” said Gomez of the Tigers’ offense. “I don’t have any natural forwards like I did last year. Most of them that are playing are my midfielders; they’re learning.”
Both Tokay and Galt lost many players to graduation last spring.
Last winter, Tokay captured the Tri-City Athletic League title last winter. The Tigers beat Davis High of Davis, 4-2, in penalty kicks in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs on Feb. 12. But in a second round game on Valentine’s Day, Jesuit showed no love for Tokay, as it posted a 3-1 win. Tokay is the three-time defending TCAL champion.
Galt won the Sierra Valley Conference title, also last winter. The Warriors have won the conference title four of the last five seasons.
In the section’s D-IV playoffs last winter, Galt posted victories over Dixon and Natomas of Sacramento. Then Galt blanked Livingston 2-0 in the section title game at Tokay High’s Hubbard Field on Feb. 21. That game was the second time that Galt and Livingston met for the section’s blue banner.
The Warriors earned a California Interscholastic Federation NorCal berth for a second consecutive year. But Prospect of Saratoga posted a 3-2 first round win.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.