Cougars keep perfect record going with home victory
Freshman forward Ramiro Barraza turned in another sterling performance Wednesday by scoring two goals that powered the Taft College men's team to a 3-1 non-conference victory over Santa Barbara City College.
The win improved the Cougars' early season record to 2-0 heading into this afternoon's home match with Long Beach City College (1 p.m.)
An early Santa Barbara goal on a penalty kick didn't rattle the Cougars.
Instead, they came back with a pair of goals for a 2-1 halftime edge and then cemented the win with Barraza's second goal.
"We just went back to playing our game after giving up the early goal," said head coach Angelo Cutrona. "It was nice to see that."
He thought the near 100-degree heat quickly wore down the team from the coast.
"After the first half I felt the Taft heat worked in our favor," he said."
He also liked his team's intensity.
"We were everywhere. I thought we controlled the rhythm and the tempo throughout. At one point in the second half Santa Barbara decided to sit back and hope for a counterattack, but it really backfired on them."
After the Vaqueros scored at about the 10-minute mark on a penalty kick Barraza, a freshman from Bakersfield High, tied it after taking a pass from midfielder Andy Reyes.
Trevon Demison, another BHS product, scored the go-ahead goal on an assist from Julio Lopez and Barraza put it away with his second goal. Andres Iniguez got the assist.
Taft High product Roberto Gonzalez worked the goal for the Cougars but his teammates did a good job of keeping the Vaquero offense in check.
"They had a couple of chances but Roberto, as usual, did a good job," Cutrona said. "Our guys made it a pretty easy day for him, though. I was really happy with our defense."
The Cougar women, meanwhile, evened their record at 1-1-1 with a win and a loss.
On Monday, they defeated El Camino College 2-0 with Kathy Lopez and Joanna Espinosa scoring the goals.
On Tuesday, TC dropped a 3-0 decision to Santa Barbara.
While the men are hosting Long Beach today, the women are in northern California for a pair of non-conference matches. Today they are in Redding to play Shasta and on Saturday will be in Oroville to take on Butte.