Taft College’s No. 1-ranked men’s soccer team will be shooting for its sixth shutout in a row today when the Cougars host Cosumnes River College at 3 on the Tenth Street field.
The Cougars made in five in a row Tuesday with a 3-0 win over American River College in Sacramento to close out a string of seven straight road matches. Down the home stretch they will host six of their final eight remaining regular season games.
The pressure to stay on top of the state rankings increases with each outing – even with a team like Cosumnes River that comes to town with a 3-7-3 record.
“Beating us would make their season,” said head coach Angelo Cutrona. “We have to be ready. We have to continue to work hard. There’s no slowing down now.”
Roberto Mariscal scored two of the goals against American River (6-6-2) – his fifth and sixth of the year.
“Those were two very nice goals,” Cutrona said.
Ramiro Barraza got the other. It was his 13th of the season to go with his two assists for a point total of 28 that ranks him fourth in the state.
Eddie Lopez recorded his fifth assist of the season, which is the best on the team.
Trevon Demison also had an assist – his second.
Goalie Roberto Gonzales, a sophomore from Taft High, had four saves in his 80 minutes of work in earning his fifth straight shutout. He ranks eighth in the state in saves.
Cutrona is breathing a sigh of relief now that the road streak is over.
“The thing I was most pleased with is we managed to survive the five-hour trip,” he said. “We got hung up in traffic and didn’t get there until just before the game started, so we had very little time to warm up. We had the opportunity to come out sluggish, but we didn’t.”
He was happy with his team’s performance despite the long bus ride and field conditions.
“The grass was very tall and the type of grass that slows the ball down,” he said. “That helps the defensive team. I thought we broke them down and got behind them.”
The Cougars remained undefeated at 10-0-2 and ranked No. 1 in the state and northern California.