The Vaqueros made mistakes against a fast Citrus Owls squad and they paid for it by losing 3-0 on Nov. 2 at Sartoris Field. The game began with a bang coming from the Owls. In the 10th minute, Eric Haveman found the back of the net to put the Owls in front for an early 1-0 lead.
“Well, in the beginning we didn’t come out with full intensity,” said Vaquero head coach , Joe Agoston.” We actually picked it up after the first goal, but then we were down 1-0.”
Being down 1-0 has been a trend for the Vaqueros during a season in which they have scored only nine goals in 20 games. One reason for the squad’s lack of goals has been the inconsistency on offense and defense. Also, the practice sessions have been difficult for the team because of their inability to adjust to the collegiate skill level.
“Our biggest concern on the field is that we can’t put the ball away,” said Agoston. “We had a chance earlier to score, but we didn’t do anything with it.”
The first half ended with the Owls on top 1-0 and the momentum was on their side. The Vaqueros looked a bit sluggish walking off the field and into the huddle.
As the referee blew the whistle to signal the second half of the match, the same lack of intensity carried over to the field. It didn’t take long for the Owls to extend their lead. Mid-way through the second half, Owls defender Derek Stransky found the open net after a risky throw-in by the Vaqueros to give the Owls a 2-0 lead.
Moving on in the contest, the Owls intended to push their already insurmountable lead further and they successfully did just that. Owl defender Juan Salas had full control of the ball as he ran along the right side of the goal post and fired the ball into the corner of the net. The Vaqueros were visibly disappointed after the goal, but they kept on playing hard until the last whistle.
Toward the end of the match, Citrus goalkeeper Giovanni Marquez clotheslined forward Andre Vorster of the Vaqueros. The Vaquero bench erupted because there was no call from the referees and it especially upset Vorster as he walked away, shaking his head in disgust.
“If the referee doesn’t call it, then it’s not a penalty and I never argue with their decisions,” said Agoston. “We just made mental mistakes and the other team (Owls) punished us for it.”
The game ended in a 3-0 win for the Owls. The failure to keep up with the Owls was evident throughout the game, and the Vaqueros paid dearly for it.
But “3-0 does not tell the entire story here,” said Agoston. “I’m not saying they didn’t deserve to win, but the majority of the game came down to little mistakes and we paid for it.”
The Vaqueros finished off the season at 3-16-3, but this team has the potential to turn it around next year. The squad has 20 freshmen with one year of college experience under their belt.
A turn-around season depends on who comes back and how much they’ve learned this year.