KINGSBURG - For the second-straight game, the Selma Bears scored seven goals in a game, but this time it was against its rival Kingsburg in a 7-0 shutout win on Jan. 23.
It was game two of a doubleheader with both of the girls teams playing in the first game. It was also a contest that was postponed from Jan. 16 due to poor field conditions.
By scoring seven goals in two-straight wins, Bears head coach Ruben Zamora said his team’s hard work at practice is starting to show up on game days.
“We’ve been working hard all season and now we’re finally clicking and we’re finally becoming one team,” Zamora said. “What we do in practice is working out here. In a lot of the games, we’re showing who we truly are and we’re showing it and scoring a lot of goals. Hopefully, we could keep on going.”
For Kingsburg, it was the Vikings sixth-straight loss and the shutout defeat dropped the team to 0-6 in CSL play.
“At times we’re doing well, but the lack of experience is really killing us,” Kingsburg head coach Steven Vargas said. “We’re still behind the play. As a group defensively, we just have to get faster and anticipate plays.”
Like Selma’s previous game against Central Valley Christian on Jan. 18, Bears forward Cesar Sanchez scored the team’s first goal of the game. Sanchez’s goal occurred in the second minute of play.
The senior scored again late in the first half that extended the Bears’ lead 3-0 at halftime. Sanchez’s second goal was a curved ball from the middle of the box to the left side of the net. Carlos Figueroa had an assist on the play after passing the ball in Sanchez’s direction from the left side of the box.
Sanchez’s two goals gave him three total this season and three in the past two games after getting his first score of the 2018-19 campaign against CVC.
“That first goal against CVC just sparks it up,” Sanchez said. “It goes ‘Once you get the first one, the momentum goes and you just keep going from there’ and it grows and grows and grows.”
Selma’s other goal in the first half came from Edward Carranza, which came on a ball that bounced off the right leg of Vikings’ goalkeeper Luke Berry. At the time, Carranza’s goal extended the Bears’ lead to 2-0.
After a 3-0 halftime lead, Selma scored four goals in the second half behind scores from Pedro Rangel (53,’76’), Jonathan Calvo (66’), and Gerardo Soto (80’).
On Rangel’s first goal, the freshman striker outran Vikings defenders down the middle and kick the ball in the left side of the net. His second goal was a header off a pass from the right side of the field.
Calvo, the Bears backup goalkeeper scored on a penalty kick after Kingsburg was called for a handball violation. Calvo came into the game at the start of the second half.
Soto, a sophmore, scored his goal seconds before the final whistle blew.
With multiple players getting involved in scoring in the past few games, Zamora said his team is getting “hot” at right time as the playoffs approach.
“We saw that we weren’t the team we needed to be,” Zamora said. “We made changes in our formation and we started working hard. They started seeing what hard work does for them and now it’s actually showing. So now everyone is scoring, we have the right people doing it.”
A day later, Selma defeated Hanford West 2-0 for a third-straight win. For the third consecutive day, the Bears played a game, but this time it was against Dinuba on Jan. 25. Selma fell 3-0 to the Emperors, who are in first place in the CSL at 7-0. The Bears fell to to fourth place after the loss.
Currently, the Bears stand at 10-6-3 overall and 4-3-1 in CSL play. Even with a slim chance at a league title, players are keeping their heads up for the playoffs.
“We have some good players and were keeping our head towards playoffs,” Rangel said. “[We’re] maintaining that mentality and going big.”
As for Kingsburg, the Vikings overall record is at 3-13-1 and 0-6 in league play.
With three games to go for a struggling Kingsburg squad, one facet of the game Vargas wants to see improved is the ability to attack the goal.
“The lack of attack on top is really killing us,” Vargas said. “When we get there, we have tactics, but we’re not able to apply the tactics and that’s what I see happening right now. I think it just comes with experience and touches.”
Selma will host its regular-season finale against Kingsburg on Feb. 5. Before the Vikings play against the Bears at Washington Union’s John Ventura Stadium, Kingsburg will play at CVC tonight and will host Exeter on Friday night.