In this Olympic season, Riverbank High School’s boys soccer players have also experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.
Last week was one of ups and downs in the Bruins’ quest for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championship in varsity play, to cap off their 2021-22 campaign.
Having beaten Calaveras High School in first round playoff action, 5-0, on Feb. 10, last week they went on to defeat the Huskies of Hughson High School, 3-2, on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
That win was a come-from-behind victory at the pitch in the Angelo Novi Stadium on the RHS campus. Down 2-0 at the halfway point, the Bruins fought back with three goals in the second half, the final score coming with less than two minutes remaining in the match.
Riverbank scorers included junior forward Andre Chia, senior middle fielder Jose Rodriguez and sophomore co-captain Eric Verduzco.
With a good sized crowd in the grandstand watching the match, the victory brought a large number of those family members, friends and other fans onto the field to congratulate the team after the final whistle in the semifinal battle.
The win over Hughson sent the team to the Section Division V Championship match at Cosumnes River College on Saturday, Feb. 19 where they faced off with the Delhi Hawks. It was there that things turned sour for the Bruins. Riverbank was the top seed in the playoffs while Delhi went in as the number two seed.
RHS varsity coach Juan Harvey reported it was a well contested match by both teams.
“Our team scored first with a goal from Gonzalo Luna from about 25 yards out. Delhi scored their three goals within 10 minutes of us taking the lead,” Harvey said. “In the second half of the game, we had possession of the ball in their half of the field for much of the time, but we could not get the goal to fall.”
The Hawks went home with the 3-1 win and the blue banner. They had defeated number seven seed Escalon in an opening round shootout, then got past number three seed Colfax by a 3-2 decision to advance to the championship.
Overall, the coach said, “It was another successful season, as making it to a Section Championship game is difficult enough, we just fell short.”
Harvey is optimistic about next year.
“I am returning most of my roster including eight starters from this last game.”
He also thanked all the friends, family and student body for their “help and support this season.”
Varsity soccer finished its Trans-Valley League season in second place, with a 6-1-3 record. They were 12-6-4 overall for the campaign.
Lady Bruin Varsity Basketball
Riverbank’s varsity girls played in the first round of their SJS Division IV Playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 17.
Eleventh ranked in the section, the Lady Bruins traveled to Sacramento to take on the sixth ranked Capital Christian Lady Cougars, falling 57-48.
The Lady Bruins finished the 2021-22 season with a TVL record of 8-4, finishing in fourth place. Overall, they went 19-7 for their whole schedule.
RHS Spring Sports
The traditional spring sports practice season has begun, but the actual schedules for baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis have yet to be issued.