Cambrian: Sports

Sleepy soccer teams make long and winding trek to Bakersfield

Freshman Emany Plasencia battles for the ball against Fresno Christian on Friday, Jan. 6. He scored a goal on Friday night and in the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield the following day.
Freshman Emany Plasencia battles for the ball against Fresno Christian on Friday, Jan. 6. He scored a goal on Friday night and in the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield the following day. Special to The Cambrian

The theme of the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle,” has been used in the entertainment culture for years — and when the lack of sleep impacts a sports team, that theme is often revisited, as it will be in this story. It was a sleepless situation in Cambria for Coast’s soccer teams.

The two teams played back-to-back matches against Fresno Christian on Friday, Jan. 6. The girls played the early match, and managed a 2-2 tie. Coach Vicki McConnell said senior Fabby Gonzalez made the first goal but was called for offsides.

McConnell said it was a “bad call,” but later in the match, Gonzalez booted another one into the net. Junior Ashly Colins also scored for Coast Union, and Cynthia Cadena saved 20 shots in goal for the Lady Broncos.

Meantime, the boys team won their match against Fresno Christian, 2-0, on the strength of goals scored by freshman Emany Plasencia and junior Daniel Pena.

The plan originally was to have both teams board Coast Union vans immediately after the matches and drive to Bakersfield for the Garces Tournament on Saturday morning, an event that Coast players — and many teams from around California — participate in annually.

But there was a misunderstanding of some type, so the transportation was not available after the Friday night matches, according to boys coach Luis Plasencia. Hence, the players went home and had to be awakened at 3 a.m. to depart for Bakersfield in a school bus at 3:30 a.m.

“So our kids were not rested up for the games in Bakersfield,” Plasencia explained.

After finally arriving at the tournament, the boys’ first match was against Wasco High School, and a sleep-deprived squad lost, 2-0.

“The game wasn’t that bad, but the boys were really tired, and they had no breakfast,” Plasencia said.

The situation was exacerbated because the motel reservations that had been made for Friday night were canceled when the teams didn’t show up until the morning, so the players had nowhere to go to rest and change — except the bus.

In the boys’ second match, against Garces High School, Coast was leading 1-0 on a goal by Emany Plasencia (the coach’s nephew), but, “at the last minute, Garces scored two goals to beat us 2-1,” the coach said. That was perhaps another example that can be attributed to the lack of sleep, because “We came apart at the end,” Luis Plasencia said.

The third match, against Tehachapi High School, was won by the Broncos, 2-0.

The girls’ lack of sleep certainly had an impact on the Lady Broncos’ first two matches, against Mission Oaks — which Coast lost 8-0 — followed by a 6-0 loss to Hanford.

“The girls never let their spirits down and played a fantastic third game against Burroughs, which ended in a 0-0 tie,” McConnell reported. The coach praised Gonzalez, Cammie Tatham and Kaelani Ribera for their solid play in that 0-0 tie.

McConnell also noted the “overwhelming number of saves on goal by Cynthia Cadena.”

“She is a great, more than great, goalie,” the coach said.

The next home match for the boys is Jan. 26, a 5:30 start against Dunn School. The girls’ next home match is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 against Liberty High School.

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