Coming off a 3-2 win against Delhi in section playoffs at home Wednesday, Nov. 13, the Riverbank Bruins were frustrated Saturday by a bigger, stronger Galt team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 championship soccer game.
Playing at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Stockton, the massive AstroTurf field of the sports complex there was a departure from the grassy playing fields the Bruins are used to. The firmness of the pristine surface was fast and resulted in true, solid bounces. The field is permanently painted with a standard football gridiron, as well as the wider soccer field lines.
The Warriors of Galt were bigger and faster than other opponents the Bruins have faced this season, but despite the mismatch, Riverbank kept even in the first half. Attacks on the net by Galt were mostly wide of the mark, with Riverbank goalkeeper Robert Serrato blocking a shot on the middle of the net. Unfortunately, a minute later the Warriors scored their first goal of the day and about a minute after that, the first half ended with Galt on top, 1-0.
Despite fighting hard for the win, RHS was overpowered, and the game ended 8-0, the Bruins ending up in second place in Division 5.
Their home game on Wednesday to get them into the championship contest went to double overtime, with the Bruins and Delhi knotted at 1-1 after regulation. They went through a scoreless first overtime, then Delhi scored one and Riverbank netted two in the second OT, taking the 3-2 victory. Notching goals for Riverbank in the semifinal win were seniors Noe Garcia and Eric Hernandez, and junior Rodrigo Quintero. Goalie Serrato had nine saves.