No, it was not the score the Klamath Union boys soccer team wanted.
Eagle Point handed the Pelicans a 5-0 defeat Tuesday at Modoc Field, but the Pelicans saw bright spots in a defeat that had them down 1-0 at halftime.
KU had a fighting chance in the first half, holding its ground and getting a near goal off a volley by Alex Garcia.
The first half was so motivating it sparked assistant head coach Gerrin deGroot to say it was the best half of soccer the program has had in four or five years.
“The second half, we just broke down and lost the communication. If we keep doing what we did the first half, we should easily have a good season,” KU senior Donovan Madden said.
“In the past couple years, we did not pass very well. It was a lot of one person, take on a whole team. This summer we just worked on drills and how we can really stop teams, and on our attack.”
After falling to Tulelake to open the season, 1-0, Klamath Union came out with a 7-4 victory against Paisley Saturday.
It was the first win the boys soccer program has had since their victory against Mazama Oct. 6, 2016.
The following year the school had no wins and, last season, the team lost every game except for one tie.
“We want to remember having the best season we have had in a long time. We have not had, like, a win in as long as I can remember. It is off to a good season,” Madden said. “If the score is bad, just stay in it. We can always come back whenever.
“We can always score more goals than they do. It is just about keeping the pressure.”
“I realize that I have a role to choose and I am taking that role and stepping into that. Last year, I had a feel of what to do but now I know what to tell other people and how to lead.”
Klamath Union held its ground and didn’t allow a score for the first 30 minutes, before Jaydyn Budrow found room on the right side of the field, changed his dribble to the left part of the penalty box and kicked the ball to the right corner of the net for a score.
The air was sucked out of the Pelicans sails after Alex Rodriguez scored a goal nine minutes into the second half, which was followed by a score from Wemar Cervantes-Kerns three minutes later, both goals assisted by Gabriel Campuzano.
“Once we get a goal, we have more hope. We have to keep it out of the middle because we congest in the middle,” KU junior John Gonyaw said. “We do not pass it to the outside and the outside guy is making runs back and forth.
“When Jacob (Cook, KU’s goalkeeper) kicks it through the middle, they get it and then they bring it back, and I have to sprint back and they score.”
Gonyaw is entering into his second year playing soccer after being a baseball player growing up.
It was fellow junior Jarred deGroot who introduced him to the sport. Gonyaw impressed head coach Seth Johnston immediately and became a starter in just his first year.
“My friend (deGroot) told me to try out for soccer. I did not really like baseball and said: ‘OK, I will try it.’ I love playing every second,” Gonyaw said. “Our season can end with more wins than losses. I think this can be a breakout season for our program if we remain focused.”