Vaqueros Cage the Owls


GAME SAVER: Armando Aragonez forms a wall at the goal during a game against Citrus College at Sartoris Field on Nov. 4. The Vaqueros will face #1 Victor Valley on Friday in the last regular season game.

The Vaqueros Men’s soccer team went up against the Citrus College Owls at Sartoris Field on Friday. The game started with a boring first half, where there wasn’t much happening on either side of the field.

The teams walked out with 0-0 at halftime and when they came back, it was like seeing a whole new game on the field. There was pressure on the opponents and with that, Taiki Nakahiro stepped up and scored an amazing goal five minutes into the second half.

Coach Matsumoto said that Nakahiro definitely stood out with that goal.

“The whole team working as a collective unit is ultimately the key to our success,”  Matsumoto said.

After the goal and the celebrations, the Vaqueros held the lead for the rest of the game. Every player was on their feet and helped the team with the win, especially goalkeeper Armando Aragonez who had a few great saves during the game.

“We have had a couple of games where we were tied or up by a goal, but lost concentration in the last few minutes and let the other team score to beat us or tie,” Matsumoto said.

But this game was different. “This was a critical win for us and the team stepped up to the task. I’m very proud of the guys for showing the discipline to hold the win for 40 minutes,” he said.

This was an important win for Vaqueros because they are in second place in the Western State Conference, only four points behind the team in first place, Victor Valley. Out of the eight games the Vaqs have played in the WSC this year, they won four, lost one and have tied three.

The Vaqueros have one more game left after defeating Bakersfield last night 4 to 2. They face Victor Valley on Friday, which will be a very important game that the Vaqueros have to win to have a shot in making it to the playoffs.

Matsumoto said, after the won against Citrus College, that the team’s main goal is to “finish the regular season strong by winning these last two games and if it is meant to be, then the cards will fall in our favor to get to playoffs.”

She continued to say that either they will pass Victor Valley and take the first place or their power point record will let them go into playoffs as a wild card. But she has faith in the team.

“I know that we have the capacity to beat both Bakersfield and Victor Valley,” Matsumoto said. “It will all depend on us effectively applying focus, intensity, and determination one game at a time.”

Win or lose, the coach finished by saying, “No matter what the outcome over the next two games, I am very proud of the team and all that they have accomplished this season.”