Exeter looks poised for Central Sequoia League title run in new year
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
PORTERVILLE – The Exeter Monarchs raised the bar in preparation for a Central Sequoia League title run this season by playing only Division II opponents. Despite only defeating one D-II team, and taking their lumps all the while, Exeter head coach Darin Lasky is pleased how his team has adjusted.
“It was a real good thing that we did our non-league schedule this way,” Lasky said. “It has given us a good idea of what we’re facing heading into league.”
Exeter’s (2-4-1, 1-0) biggest lessons were learned by underclassmen which have had to step up to fill starting rolls in recent games. Due to injuries, Exeter has only two seniors on the field. They’re joined by three freshmen and a slew of sophomores.
The number of lineup changes Lasky has made so far this season has forced him to make entire shifts to his formations. Against the Golden West Blazers two weeks ago Exeter had real trouble adjusting. It led to a 6-3 loss. It was Exeter’s worst loss during non-league this season.
A 1-1 tie to the El Diamante Miners and a 3-0 win over the Immanuel Eagles in Exeter’s CSL opener followed. But while the results were better Lasky was still looking for his players to fully pick it up.
During the second half of Exeter’s final non-league game against the Monache Marauders last Thursday. Monache scored two early goals in the second half, but in the last 20 minutes Exeter came on strong. Yvette Hernandez made it 2-1 on a goal from the left side of the field outside the penalty box. Exeter had a couple more breakaway scoring chances late, but missed on both occasions.
“They are starting to get more confident with what they are doing,” Lasky said. “We’ll take it.”
The confidence will be much needed when Exeter returns to play. They will face the Central Valley Christian Cavaliers on Friday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m.
Central Valley Christian has struggled so far this season, and their record of 2-8 reflects that. Exeter and Central Valley Christian have a common opponent in the Tulare Union Tribe. While both teams suffered loses the Monarchs only lost by a score of 1-0. Central Valley Christian on the other hand lost 3-0.
The CSL front runner seems to be the Kingsburg Vikings once again. Kingsburg already has eight wins with their most recent coming over the Clovis North Broncos 3-0.