After beating Rosamond 3-2 on Monday, Golden Valley boys soccer has already nearly matched last season’s performance, and it was only the fifth game of the season.
“And we’re going to win Friday,” assistant coach Ken Claborn told his team in a postgame speech.
The Grizzlies home win brings them to 2-3-1 on the season after accumulating just two wins last year.
“It feels great,” said center mid Robert Castro. “We’ve just got to keep working. We expect more wins.”
Castro himself was responsible for two goals against the Roadrunners (4-6-1). The first came off a penalty kick in the 21st minute, just two minutes after Rosamond had taken a 1-0 lead.
Castro struck low and to the left, right out of the diving Roadrunners keeper’s outstretched arms.
He scored again shortly after, this time from in front of the net.
Anthony Hernandez sent the ball to Castro, who broke free of his defender and knocked in the ball off a header.
With some discord in front of the net, Rosamond scored 16 minutes into the second half to tie the game at 2-2.
To add to the Grizzlies’ worries, starting goalkeeper Emerson Chavarria was given a red card and consequently left the game, leaving Roy Garrett to take his place in the 36th minute.
Golden Valley was shaken for a few minutes after but quickly returned to form.
“I love the way we responded,” said Claborn. “We do have a lot of players that are somewhat inexperienced, so they need to learn how to deal with situations like that and not get bothered by the ref or the other players, so it was good.”
Hernandez scored the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute. He received a pass at the top left corner of the box, centered the ball, then sent it sailing over the keeper.
Castro credited the team’s current success to having a more tactical approach this season. Head coach Freddy Wheeler, who was out of town for Monday’s game, and Claborn are focused on sharpening the fundamentals and demanding the best from their players.
“Some of the players here are really in, like, sync with each other,” Castro said. “None of us really play club. Only a few. So we’ve just got to keep working and get to the level of hart and Valencia and Saugus.”
Golden Valley next hosts Serrano of Phelan on Friday at 3:15 p.m.