Young Monarch squad loses eight of first nine games, shutout in several losses
By Paul Myers
EXETER – Out of the nine games Exeter has played so far, they don’t have much to show for it.
Outside of their lone win against Immanuel, the Monarchs have lost by wide margins, and have been shutout in several games. Their last two matches against Mt. Whitney and Monaches each ended on the wrong side of 2-0. But the score board doesn’t show effort.
Against Mt. Whitney last Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Monarchs let up two second half goals to the pioneers. The first was a tough scramble for the ball deep in their own goal that slid through in the 57th minute. The second was a surprise shot on goal with little resistance that caught Leo Salas out of position in the 75th minute.
But between the 57th and 75th minute Salas made two great saves to give his team a chance to come back.
“I think we played good tonight. We lost our starting goal before the game and we had to put out backup goalie in. That’s the first time he played all year,” head coach Pete Renteria said. “He did a real good job.”
In the first half Salas took a striker head on and saved what would have been a for sure goal in the 22nd minute. He also made diving saves when his team needed it most. But while they let up two goals in each of the last two games, the Monarchs’ biggest weakness is on the offense.
“We’re not getting a lot of shots on goal but the kids are putting the effort in, you’re just not getting the results you want,” Renteria said.
Against the Pioneers the first 10 minutes were a back and forth matchup. After that the best shots taken were not by Exeter. Mt. Whitney just missed on free kicks and good opportunities, often missing high. The first five minutes in the second half Exeter made the strongest attempt on a goal all night. But it veered wide. Again Exeter had a good opportunity but missed just right. Their first miss was followed by a second when it bounced off the post.
Exeter still has just over half of their season left to play and Renteria says that he is encouraged by his team’s morale.
“There’s a lot of reflection and a lot of teachable moments. It’s the next man up mentality. We work our tails off at practice. The kids really do. They get it, we are young, it’s not an excuse, we only have two returners that played last year,” Renteria said.
Exeter won’t take the field again until after the new year on Jan. 3 when they welcome the Central Valley Christian, Cavalier to Monarch Stadium for their first Central Sequoia League game.