After beating Calabasas 2-0 on Friday night, the Canyon boys soccer team was half thrilled, half stunned.
They celebrated at midfield, chanting and lifting each other up out of sheer excitement. This wasn’t a normal win. This was the Cowboys’ first home win since the 2015-16 season.
“I have no words for this,” midfielder Tito Gonzalez said. “I’ve never felt, like, this good.”
Canyon completely turned its performance around from the first half to the second half. The Coyotes out-ran and out-maneuvered the Cowboys in every way possible in the first half, and yet the home defense was able to keep them out of the net.
“We had to react,” said senior Josh Roque. “We had to wake up. We were asleep, real lazy and we were running to the balls and stuff.”
After halftime, the Cowboys came out eager as Calabasas faced a flurry of shots, but it wasn’t until the 59th minute that Gonzalez broke through with a goal on a shot at the top of the box.
“At first I was just waiting for the ball, waiting for a good moment,” said Gonzalez. “I didn’t expect it at all but he gave a good header and we just executed. We did what we had to do.”
The Cowboys kept on crashing the net as the evening wore on until Josh Roque followed up in the 70th minute.
A rebound bounced off the left post and rolled out nearly 10 yards. Roque prompted approached the ball and booted it for Canyon’s second goal of the night.
Joshua Roque with goal No. 2 for Canyon. Cowboys leading Calabasas 2-0 in the 70th minute. pic.twitter.com/3fSEbZYIUl
— Haley Sawyer (@haleymsawyer) December 16, 2017
“Right when I see the chance, I just rip the ball in,” he said of the goal.
Calabasas had the opportunity to avoid the shutout with a free kick in the 68th minute, but the Coyotes’ shot clumsily hit the middle of the crossbar.
The Cowboys went winless for the entirety of last season and collected only four wins in the season before that. This year’s experienced upperclassmen-heavy team has the chance to disrupt the trend.
“We just keep plugging away,” said coach Robert Benavidez. “Keep working, hopefully build a little momentum off of this. It’s a long season told the boys when we hadn’t won that it’s a long season. Its one game at a time.”