Farmersville Aztecs kick off season of soccer

Aztecs pick up where they left off after deep playoff run last season

FARMERSVILLE – After an extended offseason, the Aztecs finally returned to the field and showed why they’re one of the top teams in the Valley. Last Thursday they began their season in dominant fashion with a 5-0 win over Kingsburg.

Last year’s Aztec squad consisted of several sophomore sensations that are now leading the way as juniors. Heading the pack is Angel Solis who opened the season with a hat trick, proving that he’ll be one of the top players in the East Sequoia League for his final two seasons. Junior Felix Zarate will be right there with him as he scored the other two goals.

Solis immediately got on the board a few minutes into the match as he scored the first goal on an assist from Joel Santiago. About 11 minutes into the game, Zarate quarterbacked the set play from the corner as he threw the ball in to junior Efrain Castro who headbutted it past the goalie for his team’s second score.

Right before the end of the first half, Solis showed his fancy footwork as he fought with the goalie and another defender on the left hash before getting the ball around them both and into the back of the net. The game’s final two goals came in the second half as Castro made a superb sliding steal and finessed his way through the defense before assisting Solis on his third goal of the night. The last goal of the night came on a set play in the opposite corner of the first set play in the first half. Castro got the ball past the goalie for his second score of the match.

Despite the lopsided victory, head coach Michael Jordan was more than critical of his team’s performance. He’s happy with where they’re starting and the team did a lot of things well, but there were too many mistakes on defense plus missed opportunities on offense.

“A lot of times people look at the final score and think it means we’re good but it doesn’t,” Jordan said. “I like what I see but we’ve got a lot of improvement.”

He did give his team some grace since they weren’t able to compete in their normal preseason tournament at Mt. Whitney. They’re also missing a lot of players from last year’s Valley championship squad. They lost six seniors from that team so about half of the starting lineup. There are only two seniors this year so according to Jordan, his team is having a youth movement. Because the team is so different, the head coach has not dwelled at all on last year’s narrow defeat in the Valley championship game that ended in penalty kicks against Mendota.

“What happened last year is done and over with. With COVID and not even having the same team, it’s not even a thought,” Jordan said. “It was a bitter, disappointing end for the boys. But it was a fantastic year and I was very proud of them.”

Their next game was Monday in a loss to Fowler and they’ll be playing again tonight and Friday.

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