SOCCER: Miners shut out Knights

The El Diamante boys’ soccer team closes out non-league play with a 4-0 shutout against the Bullard Knights

FRESNO – The El Diamante Miners shut out the Bullard Knights 4-0 after traveling to Fresno for their final game of non-league play.

After a slow first half that ended in a 0-0 tie, the Miners brought the heat in the second half to score four goals in 40 minutes. While Bullard lost some of their momentum, the Miners only seemed to gain energy, ending the game with their fourth goal just seconds before the official blew the whistle.

“We started off slow,” El Diamante head coach Agustin Gonzalez said. “Everybody played a role and stepped up and I think we just kind of wore them down. I think they played well, as a team.”

Though El Diamante controlled possession of the ball in the first half, they still failed to make it past Bullard’s defense. It wasn’t until the second half that the Miners were able to set up a successful offensive play. Senior forward Alan Villa scored the first goal for the Miners assisted by junior forward Joshua Urista.

The goals seemed to come one after the other. The second goal was a header by Urista off of a pass from junior forward Beckham Ybarra. Urista then returned the favor by assisting Ybarra on the third goal. As the Miners only seemed to gain energy with each goal, the Knights fell only seemed to fall apart.

As much as they tried, the Knights couldn’t seem to penetrate the Miners’ defense. On the few occasions the Knights did manage to get past the strong wall the Miners put up, El Diamante’s sophomore goalie Taylen De Azevedo was there to make a save.

“I think overall the defense as a team is a good strong front for [De Azevedo] so he’s rested to make those crucial saves,” Gonzalez said.

Even as the clock ticked down, the Miners didn’t slow or lose motivation. They charged at the goal on offense and finished off the game with a goal by junior sweeper David Medina assisted by junior midfielder Ruffino Tellez.

“They all just stepped up. That’s the beauty of this year’s team, the vibe is just different,” Gonzalez said. “They’re all vying for each other and we have different guys who can play different positions depending on what is needed.”

El Diamante, along with the other three Visalia schools, have moved from the West Yosemite League to the East Yosemite League, joining Porterville and Monache. The Miners are looking forward to the challenging play from the other five schools heading into league play.

“It’s gonna be tough, which is good to get us ready for playoffs,” Gonzalez said.

El Diamante will kick off league play with a game against Redwood on Jan. 11.

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