Oswaldo Torneo battles for the ball in the first half. Photo by Daniel Leon]
By Johnny Martin | Reporter
The Clovis Community Men’s soccer team (5-5-4, 1-2) returned home Friday, October 14, playing to a 1-1 tie against the visiting Hawks of Consumnes River.
Coming into the match, the Crush had won two of their last three games, playing to a tie in the other. With some momentum on their side, they looked to improve on their hot streak in their first home game in two weeks.
“The guys are just believing in what we’re doing and we’re getting better,” Head Coach Chad McCarty said. “We’re starting to minimize mistakes that are costing us those losses and kind of picked up some momentum.”
Out of the gate, the Crush maintained possession and kept those mistakes to very few, if any, as they controlled the game. Keeping the ball on their offensive half of the field for most of the first half, the Crush did not allow a Hawk shot until almost halfway through the first 45 minutes of play.
The scoring opportunities came early and often for the Crush, as Sergio Gonzalez had their best scoring opportunity in just the 18th minute. The offense kept up the pressure, but they just could not finish their scoring changes.
Just a few seconds before the end of the first half, the Crush got caught on an unlucky bounce as a ball sent up the field bounced over their last defender leading to a Hawk goal.
“That’s one of their [Consumnes River] main strategies, their strength, flicking the ball and running onto it,” McCarty said. “We got caught ball watching and it got through.”
After controlling play for the majority of the half, the Crush still found themselves down 1-0 at the half, but they did not let that get to them. Right after the second half began, the Crush returned to their controlling play, looking to add on the equalizer.
The offense finally broke through 10 minutes into the second half as the Crush were able to get the ball up to Oswaldo Torneo and he took over. Torneo dribbled around the last defender and hammered it home into the back of the net.
“It was great individual play, it was a good matchup for us,” McCarty said. “He’s a talented winger, 1v1 type player, he took the guy on and beat him and put away the goal for a great finish.”
The Crush continued to generate scoring opportunities throughout the entirety of the second half but just could not put any of them away. Their inability to finish scoring opportunities doomed large as they walked away with a 1-1 tie at the final whistle.
“We played well, created a lot of chances, controlled the game, just had a hard time putting the ball away but really good performance,” McCarty said.
With the tie, the Crush have now registered at least a point in four consecutive games, recording two wins and two ties. They have also scored a goal in four straight games, their second longest streak of the season.
The Crush will look to extend their streak when they hit the road Tuesday to play Modesto, their first of five consecutive games on the road. Their next home game will be Nov. 8th against West Hills.
“We got to start putting the ball away,” McCarty said. “Putting the ball away and just eliminating a few mental concentration lapses in the back and we’ll be good.”