STOCKTON – The South turned the tables on the North on Sunday and eked out a win by the narrowest of margins with a 1-0 victory in the Ninth Annual San Joaquin Soccer Alliance boys all-star game at Delta College.
“This was amazing,” South co-head coach Ronnie Green of East Union said. “There were a lot of great kids out here. It was just fun.
“The last couple of years we have lost this game to the north team and this year the boys played really well. It was fun to see the VOL teams along with Tracy and West come together and play.”
Lancers goalie Fernando Segura played the final 20 minutes of each half for the South, and the final 20 minutes of the second half he made six saves, some short-range blasts and others rapid-fire barrages.
“Those shots were coming pretty fast,” Segura said. “There were a lot of talented players out there. They have been playing soccer forever.
“It was a good challenge.”
The lone goal of the game was scored by Tracy’s Estevan Murillo in the 32nd minute on a picture-perfect pass from Robbie Gonzalez of Weston Ranch.
“I saw him (Murillo) wide open in the middle,” Gonzalez said. “He had a really nice shot that I don’t think any goalie could have stopped.”
The Lancers had the largest contingent with in addition to Segura: Gio Padilla, Gio Gomez, Lalo Gonzalez, Jonathan Quintana, Oscar Avalos and Edwin Mata. Gonzalez, Carlos Garcia, Emson Villa, Isaac Loza and Elmer Figueroa represented the Cougars and Bryan Nunes, Joel Mandoriao, Alex Cervantes, and Oscar Guitron were from Sierra.
“This was a special event,” Cervantes said. “I spent four years playing against t hese guys so this was something new.
“To get to play with them was nice.”
In keeping with the opponent-becoming-teammates theme, Timberwolves coach Joe Pires was the co-head coach with Green.
“This was fun,” South co-head coach Joe Pires of Sierra said. “It’s really fun to play with kids that you play against during the season.
“We really don’t coach them – we just organize. We just want to make sure everyone has a good time because this is their last step in their high-school soccer career.