Boys Soccer: Lindsay sits atop ESL

Jermaine Johnson II

The Cardinals are 5-1 in the league with wins over Farmersville and Granite Hills

LINDSAY – The East Sequoia League (ESL) has been a tight race over the last few years, and this year is much the same. As the teams head into the second half of their league schedule, four squads are near the top fighting for first. The Lindsay Cardinals currently sit in first place and control their own fate to earn the crown.

The Cardinals wrapped up the first half of their league schedule on Friday, April 16, at Strathmore with a 2-0 victory, improving to 5-1 in the ESL. They’ve had their way with their league foes as they have outscored opponents 31-3 in their victories, with three defensive shutouts. Their lone loss was a bit of an upset at Sierra Pacific two weeks ago. They were a bit cocky heading into their game with the Golden Bears who hadn’t yet won a game. They went up 1-0 heading into halftime before Sierra Pacific scored three goals in the second half to pull out the victory.

That loss may have been the fuel they needed as they went on to score 10 goals against Corcoran, eight against Granite Hills and four against Farmersville in the next three games.

Offensively, they have been led by senior Emiliano Corona. He has 19 on the season, which is top three in the Central Section according to MaxPreps. The leader of the section is Farmersville junior Jose Solis with 25 goals.

Lindsay head coach Tony Godoy has been with the team for six years, and Corona has been one of the biggest keys to success during his tenure. Corona was the one first freshman to make the varsity squad under Godoy. The head coach was sold on the future star from the first time he watched him take the field.

The incoming freshman had a different kind of confidence during tryouts. His skills were impressive and Godoy knew he’d be on varsity after just five minutes of watching him play. Corona scored eight goals in his first season, fifth best on the team, during a year where the Cardinals went 23-3-2 and lost 1-0 in the Division IV Valley Championship against Mira Monte. He’s improved every season and exploded last year for a team high 21 goals, a number he will shatter by the end of his senior year.

Right behind Lindsay in the ESL standings are Farmersville and Granite Hills. They were scheduled to compete against each other in back to back games this week but Farmersville was forced to forfeit due to lack of players. They lost several players due to COVID protocols, injuries and grade requirements.

Lindsay will enjoy a 10-day rest before beginning the second half of their league schedule on Monday at Woodlake at 6 p.m. The ESL will likely come down to the final week of the regular season as Lindsay will play the Grizzlies and Aztecs in two of their last three games.

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