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Two Losses For Bruin Soccer Squad In TVL Play
Riverbank High's hot start to Trans-Valley League soccer resulted in an 8-0 winning streak to open the regular season, and the team carried the momentum into recent contests with early scores against both Ripon and Hughson.

But as coach Martin Gonzales is stressing this week - it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

The Bruins relinquished early 1-0 leads in both TVL bouts, and ultimately fell to Ripon and Hughson by identical 3-1 tallies.

"The weird thing about it is both of those games started the same way, where we scored within five minutes," Gonzales said. "Then it was almost like we felt we did all we needed to. We were so full of ourselves for that 8-0 start that we really did not get anything going."

With the losses, Riverbank is tied with Ripon for the league lead at 8-2 (10-7-2 overall). Adrian Pantoja scored the lone goal against Ripon and watched goalkeeper Hugo Calderon collect seven saves.

Christian Albor, the team's leading scorer, found the net early against Hughson, but six saves from Rafael Zamudio wasn't enough to hold back the Huskies offense for long.

"I'm hoping to turn this into a positive, and see if we can't turn things around," Gonzales said. "We played selfish, almost like we felt we had to just show up to win, and you can't do that against anyone."

The Bruins host Ripon Christian today before consecutive bouts against Escalon (11-9 overall), Ripon (19-3) and Hughson (9-7) to close the regular season. If the Bruins can win out, they will slip into the Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoffs with the TVL's No. 1 seed for a Nov. 6 opener.

"I've challenged the boys to come out and make a statement going into playoffs," Gonzales said. "With those tough games to close league, we can go into playoffs hot as long as we take care of business."