STOCKTON, Calif.- The Cosumnes River men's soccer team entered Big 8 conference competition this week with hopes for a postseason appearance, given the team's strong play during their nonconference schedule. The Hawks performed well against Santa Rosa to open the week, however, did not get the result they were looking for.
CRC opened Big 8 play this past Tuesday at home with a match against conference power Santa Rosa. Cosumnes River played extremely well throughout the duration of the match, playing some of their best soccer for 90-plus minutes. The Hawks arguably were the better team on Tuesday, and had it not been for a freak score on a remarkable 30 foot shot from the Bear Cubs, CRC would have earned the result their desired result on the afternoon. That said, Cosumnes River will look to rebound this afternoon on the road at Delta College in Stockton.
"Delta works (well) as a team and are very physical at times," said assistant coach Brandon Evangelista of the Mustangs. "They try to knock the ball around and use their speed, and they like to press on defense, putting teams under pressure." The Mustangs also like to get the ball stuck in the tackles, and hit hard in the middle of the field.
In preparing for today's matchup, the Hawks looked to improve on a number of issues that prohibited them from getting much going offensively earlier in the week. Specifically, they are looking to refine a number of areas of their possessions in order to maximize their potential to score. "We have been working on flank plays from free kicks… like how we want them swung into the box and where players need to run," said Evangelista after the team's practice on Wednesday. "We also worked on our transition from defense to offense to find our weak side player in order to exploit our opponent's defense."
The Hawks coaching staff was also impressed with the play this week of sophomore midfielder Eliezer Ramos. "He trained hard and worked well on offense and defense this week," said Evangelista of Ramos. "(Against Santa Rosa) I felt he played a lot better on both sides."
Cosumnes River will look for Ramos and the rest of the Hawks to step up this afternoon when they take on Delta in Stockton. CRC will return home next Friday for their Big 8 home opener, when they take on Modesto (Oct. 4).