Jordan Baumback ended a lengthy scoring drought at Tokay’s on-campus field on Friday.
The Tokay High senior striker also received a little bit of help from his teammates. Baumback scored three times against West’s defense to help the Tokay boys soccer team beat the Wolf Pack 5-0 in a Tri-City Athletic League contest.
After teammate Lionardo Ruiz gave Tokay (5-0-2 in the TCAL, 12-1-2) a 1-0 lead in only the second minute of the game, Baumback and his Tiger teammates took charge against the Wolf Pack’s defense. In the sixth minute of the game, Baumback, thanks to a steal by the Tigers’ defense on the south end of the field, recovered a missed shot that Tokay midfielder Juan Gutierrez missed in front of the box. That quickly gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
“My first goal consisted of great ball movement,” Baumback said. “It all started from the back and we progressed up the field.”
Added Tokay coach Ruben Gomez, who watched his team battle Tracy to a 1-1 score on Wednesday, “The kids were focused. We had a nice, solid practice (Thursday). We talked about finishing. Today, we put a good game together.”
Ten minutes later, West (1-3-2 in the TCAL, 3-4-4), which tied Tokay 0-0 in their first meeting on the Wolf Pack’s field on Jan. 9, had its chance to move the ball into the back of the Tigers’ net. The Wolf Pack’s Saul Salgado, coming off a corner kick, saw the ball curve and go out of bounds. At the 17th minute, West’s Christian Neves, on a penalty kick, hit the top crossbar.
“Last game, we just couldn’t put it in,” said Baumback of the Tigers’ first game with the Wolf Pack. “But this game we knew what we had to do. Overall, we played great tonight; our back line was on point.”
West played with only nine players and goalie Julio Fuentes from the 25th minute until the end of the contest. Neves earned a red card after he kicked Baumback, who was already on the ground, while they were pursuing the soccer near the Tigers’ bench on the west side of the stadium.
“It does make a difference,” Gomez said. “Playing with 10, then one down does make a difference.”
Baumback credited defenders Oscar Hernandez, Kanto Mori and Eduardo Rodriguez of forcing the Wolf Pack’s offense into mistakes that gave Tokay the ball back.
“Our midfielder was dominant and our strikers were lethal when we needed to,” Baumback said.
In the 11th minute of the game, Baumback floated his second goal of the game into the back of the Wolf Pack’s net. That gave Tokay a 3-0 lead that carried into the second half.
“Today was really good for him,” said Gomez of Baumback.
Before Baumback recorded his hat trick, Tokay had two more chances to increase its lead. At the 42nd minute, midfielder Luiz Baez lined up for a penalty kick. But the ball drifted and rolled to the left side of the box. Two minutes later, Ruiz took a pass from Baumback and lined up his shot from 15 yards. That ball, too, missed the net and rolled out of play.
Baumback’s final goal came in the 57th minute. Taking a pass from midfielder Cristian Garcia, Baumback wasted no time in drawing Fuentes out of the box and tapped the ball into the center of the net to make it 4-0.
Tokay midfielder Brandon Razo scored the Tigers’ final goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Midfielder Jose Gonzalez took the ball down the left side and center of the field, passed the ball to Razo who booted the ball into the left corner of the net to make it 5-0.
“Overall, I’m happy with my performance, but most importantly, with my teammates for allowing me to have the opportunities to school a hat trick,” Baumback said.
Baumback, who had scored five times this season before Friday’s game, recorded his last goal on Dec. 14, 2018. That helped Tokay beat Stagg 3-2 in a non-league game.
“It was such a great feeling of relief,” Baumback said. “I’ve been having a little goal scoring drought.”
Baumback had four shots on goal in the game. The Tigers finished with 22 attempts against the Wolf Pack; Ruiz, Eduardo Guillen and Razo had three each while teammates Jose Gonzalez, Fynn Kreuder and Luis Baez had two each.
Tokay will host cross-town rival Lodi next Wednesday. Game time is scheduled at 5:15 p.m.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.