Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Patterson girls soccer thrives in league

League play is proving to be a remedy for what ailed the Patterson High girls soccer team the first month of the season.

After going 4-5-1 in non-league games, the Tigers have gotten off to a 7-2 start in the Western Athletic Conference.

The turnaround doesn’t come as a surprise to Patterson coach Cade Tomasegovich. After wrapping up non-league play with a loss to Johansen of Modesto, Tomasegovich said, “I am confident that things will improve during league play.”

The Tigers have outscored their league opponents 35-8. Their most decisive victory was last week’s 10-0 rout of host Gustine.

“Our ultimate goal is to finish on top of the WAC,” Tomasegovich said in a February interview. “I know that we are strong enough to finish first, but, our aspirations need to match our potential.”

Despite their terrific start, the Tigers season is far from over.

But, if the Tigers can beat Hilmar on Friday at Patterson Community Stadium, and win all the other games that they are supposed to win, they should be able to assure themselves at least a second-place finish in the league.

There’s a good chance the Tigers will rely heavily on junior co-captain Jessica Herrera, Anayl Diaz and goalie Geraldi Saucedo as the season winds down.

Herrera leads the Tigers with 13 goals and 15 assists. Diaz has added six goals and three assists. And Saucedo has 105 saves and boasts five shutouts.

Still, it’s been a group effort getting this far.

“There are a lot of players providing the foundation of our success so far,” Tomasegovich said. “ We’ve had resolute and inspired goal tending, our midfielders have dictated the rhythm of the game and we have physical play in the defense and goal-scoring abilities from the offense.”

Come watch the host Tigers (7-2 WAC) clash with first-place Hilmar (7-0-2) Friday at 4 p.m.

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