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Riverbank Booters Face Tough Opponents As Season Starts
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Embarking on a busy week, the Bruin booters won their first two soccer matches on Tuesday and Thursday. But they tied their opener in the Davis Tournament on Friday and lost the other two tournament games.

By Saturday evening, they had defeated Waterford, 4-1, at home Tuesday, crushed Calaveras, away, by 7-0 on Thursday, tied Golden Valley 2-2 and lost to Patterson, 3-0, on Friday. They suffered another loss to Johansen, at 2-1, on Saturday.

Riverbank coach Martin Gonzales said the first two games were against teams of comparable strength. But the tournament matched the Division III Bruins against Division I teams from much larger schools.

In the home match against Waterford, Bruin Jesus Yepez scored two goals and netted a penalty kick after being tripped in the box.

"At one time, he took on three defenders, squeezed past them and got a goal," said Gonzales. "Another goal, he got off a pass from Francisco De Los Santos.

Riverbank was leading 3-0 by halftime.

"Our defense was handling them well and we kept the ball in their half of the field," said Gonzales.

Yepez again scored three goals for a hat trick in the Bruins 7-0 shutout of Calaveras. Other Bruin goals came from Victor Figueroa, De Los Santos, Jose Luiz and Nelson Munguia.

"We were just on that day and Calaveras looked inexperienced. We moved the ball and got in a lot of shots,' said Gonzales.

In Riverbank's goal, Saul Martinez made six saves.

"We were ahead 3-0 at halftime. Then we got two more goals and they fell apart, We had all our subs in for the last 15-20 minutes." said Gonzales.

But in the Davis Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Riverbank came up against much stronger teams and the picture changed considerably.

"Golden Valley, they are fast and move the ball well. They scored first and led 2-1 at halftime,' said Gonzales. "Yepez was our only scorer."

The Bruins bounced back to tie the score 2-2 with a goal by Ramiro Calderon in the second half. The battle grew fiercer but neither side could get ahead.

Golden Valley's second goal came off a penalty kick awarded for a handball. But the referee was unable to see the culprit in a mass of players and awarded the penalty to the wrong side, according to Gonzales.

Later in that same day tired by the Golden Valley match, the Riverbank players faced Patterson and lost 3-0 although Patterson went on to lose the tournament championship to Golden Valley.

"They were big and fast, " Gonzales said of Patterson. ""We were banged up, with a number of bruises and kinks. We'd played too many games that week."

Patterson led 3-0 by halftime and held on although Riverbank had a couple of chances.

For the tournament's final game, "we played Johansen for fun because we had no chance of placing," said Gonzales.

Johansen led, 2-0, at halftime. De Los Santos scored for Riverbank in the second half but the Bruin booters could not manage another goal.

"The boys played well," said Gonzales. "But we are a Division III team and trying to hold out own against Division I teams. And we'd played too many games earlier in the week.

After losing narrowly to Patterson, the Bruins expect to surprise that team in their first league game billed for Sept. 9.