Soccer on a downswing

Stangs outscored by 10 in two straight losses

After a three game winning streak everything has seemed to cool off for the Mustangs. In back-to-back losses the team has been outscored by a margin of 11-1 and are now sitting in the fourth spot in the Bay Valley with a conference record of 2-2 (4-5-1 overall).

The first game in the current losing streak started out just how the Mustangs hoped it would, with an early goal from leading scorer Mikayla Farber. They could not hold the early lead over Mendocino and the game ended with five unanswered goals by the Eagles.

Head Coach Mark Bryant was disappointed by the loss as he thought the team would have good results against Mendocino.

“We thought we would have good results,” he said. “We started out pretty good in the first quarter. We got an early goal. That was good, but we couldn’t hold onto it. We played a team that was fundamentally better than us.”

It wouldn’t get any easier against their next opponent Folsom Lake, the reigning conference champions, and while the team looked better they lost by a larger margin of 6-0.

“It’s almost expected;” said Coach Bryant on the loss to Folsom. “This team won league last year and have ten sophomores starting and only one freshman. They’re a good team.”

It was clear that the teams were not evenly matched as everything Folsom did worked and everything that the Mustangs did seemed to fail.

Folsom Head Coach Donny Ribaudo said that they executed their game plan to their best.

“We just kind of try to stick to some of the things that we’ve been working on in the middle part of the season,” he said. “Which is keeping good possession, staying organized defensively, trying to create two versus one in the attacking third and make sure we’re dangerous in the attacking third.”

Their passes were crisp, they controlled the ball with one touch on each pass and put shots on goal seemingly every time they entered the attacking third. Although Folsom seemed like the better team, the two head coaches both believed that the Mustangs played well in the game.

“The nice thing about Los Medanos is they fought hard,” Ribaudo said. “All 16 of them, on the team I think there is 16, they all play hard. They didn’t give up, they had good spirit and they made it tough on us at times.”

Bryant also said that the team played much better than they did against Mendocino even though the loss looks worse on paper.

“I thought our girls played much better than the game we played against Mendocino. Mendocino was a very equal team,” said Bryant. “I thought we played better today, the results don’t really show it, but as a team offensively we did much better and defensively we need a little help.”

The offense did look much better and seemed to set up their plays perfectly, but they could not complete the play when near the net.

Part of the game might have been how well Ribaudo coaches his team.

Multiple times Ribaudo could be hear yelling out yard line numbers on free kicks by the LMC players, and each time the ball went to the yard line yelled for his team to set up at.

Ribaudo said that he just noticed tendencies in the first half and relayed that information to his players in the second. That coaching led to more offensive possessions in the second half and four goals as opposed to two in the first half.

The Mustangs will take on Yuba College at home Friday, Oct. 10 before heading on the road to face Solano College.