Team goes 1-2 in the Garces Tournament

Three weeks after they were supposed to play in the Garces Tournament, the Taft varsity boys soccer team got their chance to play in it in a modified format Saturday.

It was one the Wildcats would rather forget about after winning one out of three games in the Boys Premier A Division.

With the tournament record, the Wildcats head back into league play with an overall record of 9-5-3.

Originally, Taft was supposed to play in a bracket format but it was changed to a round robin format.

Taft got off a rough start to begin the tournament when they were shut out 2-0 by Smidt Tech of LA on Field No.14.

While Taft eventually lost, a different story was playing out at the start when they controlled the match. Taft even had a chance to take the lead near the midway point of the 30 minute first half but the penalty kick sailed over the goal.

Taft had another chance to take the lead at the 19 minute mark but Juan Torres’ header just went wide of the net.

Smidt Tech finally broke through at the 24 minute mark thanks to a corner kick to a Smidt Tech player right in front of the net for the goal.
Andres Camacho gave the Wildcats another chance to get on the scoreboard but his shot just went wide.

It didn’t take Smidt Tech long to double their lead in the second half when they scored on a penalty kick two minutes in.

Taft had an opportunity to cut the lead in half but the shot was waived off.

Tempers flared between the two teams nearly 20 minutes into the second half when a shoving match broke out right in front of the net.
A player from Taft and Smidt Tech each got a red card and were ejected from the game.

Taft had one final chance to get onto the scoreboard late in the second half but Delvis Felix’s shot was caught by a leaping Smidt Tech goalie.

Taft got into the win column in their second match of the day when they shut out Tranquility 2-0.  

Oscar Arellano and Enrique Reyes each had a goal for Taft while Edmundo Valdez and Felix each had an assist for the Wildcats.

Taft wrapped up their tournament run Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to Liberty Madera in the third place match.

The Wildcats return to South Sequoia League play Tuesday when they host Wasco. The match begins at 6 p.m.