Boys Soccer: Aztecs advance to valley semifinals

Farmersville has outscored opponents 9-0 and now have a chance to play in the Division V valley championship game

By Jermaine Johnson II

FARMERSVILLE – It’s been over a month since the Aztecs last lost a game and about two seasons since they last lost a home game. As a result of their late season surge and strong home-field advantage, they are a game away from their first valley championship appearance since 2014.

Farmersville has coasted through the first two rounds of the playoffs. They have yet to allow a goal as they outscored the Mojave Mustangs and the Rosamond Roadrunners by a 9-0 margin. In both games they got out to a slow start before putting on a scoring clinic. Against Mojave they scored three goals between the 25th and 35th minutes to take a 3-0 lead at halftime. They scored their fourth goal in the first ten minutes of the second half and then began subbing their starters to keep them fresh for the next game. One of those subs got the fifth goal as they won 5-0. 

It took a bit longer for the Aztecs to take control of the game against Rosamond. Head coach Michael Jordan believes that the speed and physicality of the Roadrunner defense was able to keep his team in check. 

“It was a real struggle for the first 35 minutes. We had opportunities but we just couldn’t finish them,” Jordan said. “A lot of it had to do with their goalie, he was great.”

The Aztecs were garnering far more shots on goal than their opponent, and it paid off in the closing minutes of the first half. Senior Roberto Loza kicked the ball into the box and sophomore Alberto Guadalupe timed it perfectly to tap it in for the score. 

“I think once we got the first goal and went into halftime up 1-0, that gave [the team] a sense of belief,” Jordan said. “Sometimes when you see it on the scoreboard then it lights a fire under your butt.” 

Once again, the Aztecs earned three goals in about a ten minute timespan but only two of them counted. They scored their second goal of the night within the first five minutes of the first half. Loza earned his second assist of the night as he received the throw-in and dished a nice pass to a teammate who finished the job. Five minutes later, sophomore Felix Zarate had a well-placed shot from about 15-yards away but it didn’t count due to offsides. About two minutes after that, sophomore Angel Castellanos had a nearly identical shot from the right side of the field, and this one counted. They scored their last goal of the night in the 67th minute as seniors Chris Carranza and Francisco Rodriguez showed strong teamwork to put the ball away. 

The best shot of the night from the Roadrunners came in the  63rd minute on a well-placed penalty kick, but Aztec goalkeeper Angel Herrera showed off his athletic ability as he blocked the shot. Jordan believes that Rosamond may have run out of gas in the second half, after playing over 110 minutes during their first round match. They needed penalty kicks after double-overtime to beat Liberty in Madera before driving nearly four hours back home on a school night. Two day later they were driving nearly three hours to Farmersville. 

The No. 1 Aztecs will now host No. 4 Orange Cove. The winner will face the winner of No. 2 Mendota and No. 3 Riverdale in the Division V valley championship.

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