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Soccer Bruins Shooting For Section Finals
After four consecutive years of elimination from the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Riverbank High soccer coach Martin Gonzales isn't hiding his aspirations as the Bruins take on another difficult SJS postseason bracket.

"We have been here before and we need to get past it," Gonzales said. "I think we are ready."

Gonzales and the Bruins are shooting for two consecutive wins that will award the team a berth in the SJS title game at Lincoln High in Stockton on Nov. 14.

The team hosted Calaveras on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. A win over the Redskins would set up a likely meeting with Western Athletic League champion, Patterson, in the semifinal round.

Patterson has eliminated Riverbank from back-to-back playoff appearances.

"We are focusing on one team a time, but at the same time we need to take that one last step," Gonzales said. "There is no tomorrow in the second season. Either you win or you go home and anyone can beat anybody on any given day."

Riverbank beat Hughson 2-0 last week behind two scores from Ricardo Vigil to claim sole possession of the Trans-Valley League crown and the No. 1 seed entering the postseason.

They managed the same feat last year and ousted Bret Harte 2-1 in the opening round before a 2-1 overtime loss to Patterson in the semifinals. This year Bret Harte (Mother Lode League champions) is sitting pretty as the only No. 1 seed on the top half of the playoff bracket.

The Bruins will need sharp play in all corners of the pitch to come out tops in a bottom half of the bracket that also includes TVL contender, Ripon, who went 1-1-1 against the Bruins in league play.

Goalkeeper Hugo Calderon had a spectacular diving save to stop a wide-open Hughson forward from scoring last week and finished with 11 saves in the contest. His play in front of the net will be a big part of the Bruins' success this postseason.

If Riverbank gets past Calaveras, the team will play the winner of Patterson vs. Ripon at home on Thursday.