In a match at Ram Stadium on Friday, Rams soccer took a scoreless tie with the 2017 state runner up Bridgeport into halftime.
For the first 50 plus minutes, the Rams were able to defend several barrages by the Bulls with the assistance of freshman goalkeeper Miguel Hidalgo.
“Miguel came up big the entire night and kept us close the first half and throughout the game,” said Rams head coach Rolando Borjon. “One of the key differences of the game was the intensity and the desire to win was there all night. That’s one thing we had been struggling with, but we found a lot of it Friday night.”
Hidalgo had an impressive 23 saves on Friday night in his biggest match of the season.
The freshman has 36 total saves this season and took a step forward in his all around game as well, working with the Ram front line Diego Andrade, Marvin Renteria and Julian Avila to create several counter attacks against the Bulls.
Renteria finished the match with one shot on goal and four steals, and Andrade had three shots and three steals. Elsewhere, Avila had two shots and two steals, and junior Josue Valle had one shot on net.
“The boys' performance was a step in the right direction,” Borjon said. “They played hard for about 60 minutes and held them to 0-0 at half. That's something to build on. I know we had one to three opportunities in the first half. We just didn’t make anything of them.”
Scoreless for the first hour of the match, at about the 60 minute mark Bridgeport finally broke through on a goal by senior Juan Amador. Minutes later it was Amador again to put the Bulls up 2-0. Another pair of Bull goals late in the second half gave Bridgeport a 4-0 win.
Playing a solid match overall, the Ram defense forced some 15 offsides by Bridgeport and had the Bulls' front line visibly frustrated.
Defensemen Skiler Martin and Peter Neuimeir led the way with four steals apiece. In addition, Isaac Gray, Kishan Patel and Cristian Rodriguez each had one.
“Bridgeport is pretty solid...but it’s good to see our boys keep it close,” said Borjon. “We have a lot of young kids playing, and it gives them confidence and belief they can be good.”
At 2-9 overall, the Rams' scheduled match against Decatur on Tuesday has been postponed due to inclement weather. Instead, the Rams and Eagles will meet inside Ram Stadium this Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.