By Stephen Henderson
The Patrick County High School boys’ soccer team hosted Floyd County in a scrimmage last Tuesday night and came out on top 5-0.
Scoring for the Cougars were Gonzalo Vargas with two goals, Jesus Olivares, Jordan Dalton and Luke Williams.
“We started off slow but as the game continued, the Cougars improved,” said Coach Oscar Tejeda.
The score was 2-0 at half, and goalkeeper Brandon Mitchell hosted a shutout with a couple of saves in the first half.
“After we made some adjustments during halftime, we played a better second half,” Tejeda said. “The Cougars picked up two early goals and allowed our bench to see some significant playing time,” he added.
“I was impressed with our bench and how they played. Luke Williams, a freshmen, was subbed in and within five minutes extended the lead for the Cougars. Efren Huerta also hosted a shutout in the second half in goal and also had to face a penalty kick,” he said.
“I thought the players played well and for the first game of the season,” Tejeda said. “Our defense played a good game and senior captain Abel Chavez picked up where he left off last year and is looking to make a statement.
“Our second captain, Bailey Holt, and Jesus Olivares are back with more experience and are playing strong. Jesus has more freedom this year and picked up the first goal of the season for us. I expect Jesus to have a few more goals this season,” Tejeda added.
“Gonzalo Vargas has stepped up as a freshmen and is proving himself with two goals in against Floyd; he looked experienced and mature. Returning starter from last year, sophomore Jordan Dalton, looks more comfortable this year and is looking to have a strong season,” he said.
“The team overall played well and I’m impressed with how young we are and how good we looked at times. We will work on the mistakes we made as a team and individually,” he said.
“I believe we will be very competitive with a young squad,” Tejeda said.
The Cougars played in the Bengal Bash at the Smith River Sports Complex Saturday, and according to Coach Tejeda, “We did not play very good in our first two games.”
Tejeda said that the team was not ready for the aggressive style of some of the teams, plus he was missing a couple of starters, leaving the team with no substitutes for the three games they played (each 40-minutes contests).
“We played Dan River in our first scrimmage, and we had some positive things in that game, but we just couldn’t put it all together,” he said.
“Tunstall is a pretty stout team this year. We lost control of the middle and they took advantage of it,” he said.
“We finished with Floyd; we made some changes, and the guys scored five goals in 40 minutes,” he said.
“We still have a lot of work to do but we are young and learning. We have five freshman in the starting line up and another with only one year of varsity experience,” he explained “I believe we have a good team—we just have to mature fast,” he added.
The Cougars host Bassett tonight (Wednesday). They travel to George Washington of Danville Thursday night for a match. The JVs start at 5:30 with varsity starting at 7 p.m.