WATSONVILLE — It's tough sometimes to imagine the Watsonville High boys soccer team, with all of its legacy, fighting to stay at .500 or above during the league portion of the season.
But a tough Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division, where "any given night" has taken on new meaning, has put the Wildcatz in the vice much like it has with the other six teams that share the hellacious division with the black and gold.
On Thursday night, the Wildcatz didn't look like the snakebit squad who had lost two minutes before the bell earlier in the week. They were the powerful force that scored at the sight of an opening.
Watsonville's 4-1 win over Gilroy pulled them back at .500 in the division at 4-4; they're 10-4-1 overall. The front line did the task, with three different players scoring a goal, including birthday boy Felix Gutierrez, who scored in the 48th minute to put the home team ahead 2-0.
The Wildcatz led 3-0 before the Mustangs scored.
Even after Gilroy put in a score, Watsonville went back to its controlling offensive attack, not letting Gilroy spend too much time with the ball.
They nearly led from word go. In the fourth minute, Alvaro Madrigal shook a defender to the left about 15 yards from the goal. The goalkeeper came out a couple of steps, and Madrigal fired it by him to put Watsonville ahead 1-0.
Gilroy tried to answer, as it got consecutive corner kicks a minute later. Watsonville cleared the ball each time.
Gilroy's Efren Pineda raced down the left side of the field in the sixth minute and tried to send the ball to a teammate, but the Watsonville defenders got in the way.
Watsonville then tried its best to get another first-half goal. Although nothing worked, it prevented Gilroy from having possession for a long while. In the 35th minute, Alejandro Flores got the ball at midfield off a 50-50 and let it rip. The ball nearly kissed the crossbar as it sailed high.
The Mustangs scored one minute after Alex Cibrian put in the first of his two goals in the 59th minute. Flores got the ball about 40 yards from the goal. He cut to the left side, crept forward a few yards and let it rip again. The ball swished into the net.
Gilroy had a breakaway in the 66th minute but got called for a foul.
Watsonville's fourth goal came in the 72nd minute. Hernandez secured the ball on the left side and saw a speeding Cibrian racing down the other sideline. Hernandez got the ball to him, and Cibrian finished the deal.For the complete article see the 02-02-2013 issue.
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