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Yellowjackets roughed up by Esparto
Every goal scored in the boys soccer game between Williams and Esparto high schools was the result of a penalty, and the undefeated Spartans capitalized while the Yellowjackets came away with a bunch of close misses.
Esparto (9-0-1) pulled away for a 4-1 victory Thursday in Williams and ended the Yellowjackets' three-match win streak. The last time Williams (5-3-1) lost was on Dec. 4 against the same Spartans squad.
"I think it was all just simple mistakes, that's all I can say about that, all simple mistakes that we made on our part. Things didn't go our way this game or in the last game," Williams coach Renea Garcia said.
Several players from both teams earned yellow cards in the match as neither team was willing to back off from the ball.
Esparto took advantage of a penalty about 15 minutes into the game when Andres Luna scored on an indirect free kick from the top of the penalty box.
Ramon Segura gave Esparto the 2-0 lead 10 minutes later, kicking in a pass from Luna off another indirect free kick.
David Camarena scored the Yellowjackets first goal on a penalty kick in the 31st minute after being tackled near the top of the penalty box.
The Spartans added their third goal of the half in injury time. A free kick deflected off a Yellowjacket defender and set up a corner kick, which Cristian Lopez put into the net for a 3-1 Esparto lead entering halftime.
Esparto added another goal late in the game when Luna skipped a free kick through the defense and into the corner of the net.
Despite the loss, Garcia saw improvement from his team since the first meeting with Esparto and he attributed some of the Yellowjackets' trouble to the holiday break. The game was Williams' first since Dec. 20 while the Spartans played two games since returning from break.
"This is our first game coming from the break and I had a lot of players missing over the break, going to Mexico and trips and stuff like that. They did really well for the most part for not doing a whole lot over the break," Garcia said.
Williams will refocus on the fundamentals in practice and try to win the rest of the games in the ever-important battle for playoff position.
Christian Solis played a strong game on defense, Garcia said.
"He's one of our captains and I thought he stepped up quite a bit and handled the defense for the most part," he said.
Jose Ordonez and Salvador Ramirez played well in the midfield and at forward.
"(Ordonez) did a good job controlling the ball and trying to feed our guys, our forwards. (Ramirez) did a really good job for us in the forward position getting some good crosses, but nothing fell for us this game," Garcia said.
Alex Gomez sent a header over the cross bar and Ramirez had a clean shot saved by Esparto keeper Valentin Luna in the first half.
The story was the same in the second half, as Camarena sent a header just over the crossbar and Solis sent a sizzling shot about a foot over the crossbar from beyond the penalty box in the final minutes of the game.
The Yellowjackets next match is Thursday in Hamilton City against the Braves.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.