It’s rare for a soccer team to have a fresh start mid-season, yet that’s exactly what Clovis East enjoyed Tuesday.
After not playing a game in more than two weeks, the rested Timberwolves were energetic and tenacious for the entire 80 minutes, leading to a 2-0 league-opening win over Buchanan.
Timberwolves head coach Erik Farfan said the pre-designed winter break for his squad worked to their favor in the match.
“We wanted to take advantage of the break to be able to do things we observed in the first seven games,” Farfan said. “We focused on improving our mistakes in those games, and today we played pretty fresh.”
The Timberwolves would still be held goalless for the first 70 minutes of the match, due in large part to the acrobatic effort of Buchanan goalkeeper Michael Garcia. The senior made four saves in the first half to lead the Bears’ defense.
Garcia was kept busy all game, as Buchanan’s midfielders could not contain Clovis East’s athletic forwards. Buchanan head coach Drew Walters pointed to his midfield as an area needing improvement moving forward.
“Any ball that’s hit over the midfielders’ heads has to be tracked and won, because that’s what allows us to keep the ball and possession,” Walters said. “We still got a little more work to do in the midfield.”
The Bears offense could not create anything in the first half either, getting inside the penalty box a few times but failing to convert their chances into goals.
Clovis East’s closest chance in the first half came when Garcia was briefly out of goal, but a Timberwolves forward misfired over the net.
Physical play was the theme of the second half, as both sides continued to press forward for a breakthrough goal.
With ten minutes left in the game, it was Clovis East who finally connected. Timberwolves midfielder Noah Delsid cut through the Bears’ defense and dished it to a wide-open Andrew Huerta, who netted the go-ahead goal.
A few minutes later, Huerta struck again with a second goal, this one off the assist from Joey Chavez.
With Huerta’s foot in the final minutes, Clovis East sealed an important win in their TRAC opener.
“This is what we got to do all season,” Huerta said. “We only play for one reason, and that’s to win.”
Clovis East (4-3-1) will look to get their second win in league play when they travel to Clovis North Friday.