Taft College kept its No. 1 state ranking and shutout streak going Friday with a 2-0 victory at San Joaquin Delta.
“I was proud of our guys for shutting out the Big-8,” said head coach Angelo Cutrona after his team held American River, Cosumnes River, Modesto and Delta scoreless.
Because the Central Valley Conference has just four members, the Cougars play four crossover games with the Big 8.
It was the eighth consecutive shutout for the Cougars, who remained undefeated at 12-0-3 while dropping Delta to 7-6-2.
TC returns to Central Valley Conference action at 3 p.m. Friday by hosting College of the Sequoias on the San Emidio Street soccer field.
The Delta game was scoreless at the half even though the Cougars controlled the tempo.
“It doesn’t matter that you are controlling the game if you don’t score,” Cutrona said. “It made us a little bit uneasy, but once we get that first goal it changes things.”
Edgar Plascencia got that first goal – his second of the season – at about the 60th minute mark.
Jose Gonzalez sent a pass to Edgar Contreras, who headed the ball toward the goal and Plascencia put it away. It was Contreras’ first assist of the season.
Eddie Lopez got the clincher after taking a perfect pass in full stride from Roberto Mariscal .
“That was really a nice shot,” Cutrona said. “I was glad to see Eddie finally get his first goal. That will help him build some confidence.”
Roberto Gonzales, a sophomore from Taft High, had another solid day in the goal. He had five saves in his 80 minutes of work. Ivan Sanchez finished up.
Gonzalez has given up just nine goals all season to rank him fourth in the state. He has 63 saves.
The Cougars hit the home stretch of the regular season now with CVC games left and a non-conference outing. Four of the five are at home: Sequoias Friday, San Bernardino Valley Oct. 30, West Hills-Lemoore Nov. 2 and Fresno Nov. 6 before closing out with Sequoias again in Visalia Nov. 9