How delicious a celebration it would have been last Friday night, Feb. 12, if the Bronco boys soccer team had capped their season by knocking off perennial nemesis and archrival Mission Prep.
What made the event additionally emotional was the fact that the Royals were on an 18- game winning streak. Nothing would make coach Moises Jimenez and the Bronco players happier than to: a) win their last game of the season; b) beat their archrivals; and c) put a stop to Mission Prep’s winning streak.
The game was played on the Coast Union campus, a nice crowd was on hand, and in no time at all the Broncos went up, 2-0 to rousing ovations. The cheering for the home team was soon muted, however, as the Royals scored two goals of their own before the half.
And in the second half Mission Prep made sure there would be no upset in Cambria as they scored two more goals and won the match, 4-2, extending their winning streak to 19-0. They ended up undefeated, going 20-0. The Broncos’ record was 7-6 on the season, a dramatic improvement over last year’s 3-8-2 finishing mark.
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Coach Jimenez was quoted in The Tribune saying that he could see his players wearing down in the second half against the Royals. The Broncos simply ran out of gas while the Royals still had some left in their tank, he explained.
That said, on the season Coast Union gave up 41 goals and scored 41 goals. Jimenez notes that four of the team’s six losses came against powerhouses that will advance well into the playoffs.
The four teams he refers to that beat the Broncos are Mission Prep (20-0); Farmersville (25-1-3); Mendota (21-3-4); and Morro Bay (5-9-3). As to the player who made the biggest “strides and sacrifices” on his team this soccer season, Jimenez points to Uri Escalera. Normally a defender, Escalera agreed to play goalkeeper so Juan Carlos Saavedra could go out on the field and use his considerable skills as a playmaker.
— John FitzRandolph, special to The Cambrian