EL CENTRO – The Southwest Eagles kicked off their 2016 Boysâ€™ Varsity soccer pre-season Wednesday night in El Centro tying the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks 1-1.
Early in the first half at the 31 minute mark, Yuma Catholic attacked the right wing when forward Jonah Franco (#15) looked to center the ball but was kicked out of the box by Eagles defender (#14) Bryan Corona.
The Shamrocks had a free kick opportunity with 22:00 still to go in the first period, but defender Â Nathan DeWitt (#17) over-shot the goal.
With 17 minutes before intermission, the Eagles gained ground and began to threaten, positioning the ball through the Shamrock defense. Nevertheless, a bouncing kick by Eagles striker Jesus Escalante (#10) missed wide left.Â Midfielder Jordi Favela (#15) took the very next shot for Southwest, but it was deflected away by the Yuma Catholic defenders. Â Â Â Â Â
Beginning to display more offensive confidence, Eagles fullback Raul Rojas (#23) took a shot on goal from quarter field that sailed high.Â On the kick-out by Yuma Catholic, Southwest forward Alejandro Cardenas (#7) stole back the ball, then swiftly passed it to Rojas, adding a touch-pass of his own to teammate Escalante who kicked one into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.
Yuma Catholic cooked up a chance to answer back when Eagles defender Christopher Carrillo (#2) thwarted a set-up attempted 15-foot out by Shamrocks forward Eluterio Gutierrez (#7), to close out the half with the score still 1-0 in favor of Southwest.
Ten minutes into the second half, Shamrocks midfielder Edgar Gutierrez (#16) booted a shot out from behind the box that deflected off the top of the crossbar.
With time running out in the last half, Yuma Catholic lined up for a corner kick from the right side.Â Franco served up a curling kick-in that hovered just enough for teammate Bobby Cortazar (#22) to blast in a point-blank header tying things up at 1-1 with 13 minutes to go in the game.
The Shamrock defenders were able to stop two shots on goal by Southwest in the final seconds to conclude the contest at 1-1. Â Â
â€œWe are a fairly a new group feeling each other out,” said Rafael Contreras, Southwest’s Varsity head coach. “As the season goes on, weâ€™ll be more able to utilize our qualities.Â At this point, we are still trying to find those out.â€