On a frigid night at Lamonica Stadium, the Clovis High School boys soccer team came out sizzling.
The Cougars scored the first goal in the 20th minute then poured four more goals in the first half, downing Clovis West High School 5-0 on Friday, Jan. 19.
With the win, the Cougars improved their league record to 4-1, the only defeat being a 1-0 loss against Clovis North on Jan. 12.
“This game was important because of the recent loss and also there has been a lot of attention on us just because of some heated games and some of the reactions we had,” said senior Tyler Hensel. “Tonight it was really important for us to come out and keep our heads and do our best to play our best game. That’s what we did.”
Hensel scored the game’s first goal with an assist from senior Carlos Osuna.
“I was just making sure I was in the right position just in case it got all the way through,” Hensel said. “He had the vision to see me and the ball was kind of bouncing and I just did my best to put it on frame and it went in.”
The rest of the Cougars’ goal scorers were: Sean Williamson, Oscar Rubalcava, Edgar Sevilla, and Brian Sotelo. Goalkeeper Evan Ghimenti preserved the clean sheet for the Cougars.
“West is a good team. I just think we wanted it a little bit more tonight. We’re trying to finish off these next five games,” Clovis head coach Danny Amparano said.
With the game out of hand in the second half, the Cougars had the luxury of resting their starting lineup and giving playing time for the substitutes.
“Games like this can get sloppy, but we were able to get in some guys that don’t play a lot,” Amparano said. “They deserve to play because they don’t get a lot of time. They were able to do the job.”
Amparano was also pleased with his team’s discipline after building a huge lead.
“They gave a good effort today and had a great attitude,” Amparano said. “Sometimes those games are hard to finish in the second half. We just played and respected our opponent.”
From the opening kick to the final whistle, the Cougars were consistent with how they communicate with each other on the field.
“It starts in practice. It starts with being able to talk to these guys,” Hensel said. “Most of these guys are my best friends. We talk to each other a lot. Whoever needs to step up, steps up. If one man is not doing well, we just fill in his position.”
With five games left till the playoffs, the Cougars will look to finish strong in league.
“For the second round of TRAC, just keep the momentum and not let up,” Hensel said of the team’s mindset. “Do better all the way through the playoffs.”