SACRAMENTO, Calif.- After extending their undefeated streak to six matches, the Cosumnes River men's soccer team returns to Big 8 action tomorrow afternoon on the road against crosstown rival American River. A result in this match would separate the two teams, whom are tied for third place in the Big 8 heading into the contest.
The fact tomorrow's contest will give one team an advantage in the Big 8 standings makes little difference in the significance of the match, as each year the crosstown rivalry leads to a spirited competition between the two clubs. "Every year this is a big game for both schools no matter what the rankings are," says assistant coach Brandon Evangelista. "With both these teams being so close, you have guys who played together now playing against each other, and guys who are playing against guys from club or high school ball that they had rivalries with."
The fact that both teams are the only CCCAA men's soccer teams in the Sacramento area makes the rivalry especially competitive. Throughout the rivalry, the teams have been pretty evenly matched, as both teams are roughly .500 in the matchup. "In the past it goes back and forth with who wins or loses," says Evangelista. "They are always hard fought games, but also can get a little dirty." As with any rivalry, both teams look to play with passion, as their pride is on the line; third-place in the Big 8 is on the line as well.
The Beavers managed a 3-1 mark against CVC opponents over the past three weeks, following last Friday's 2-0 loss against Fresno City. They'll likely play tomorrow in their usual 4-5-1 formation. "ARC has been known to have some quick guys on the outside mids, and also being a more physical team in their defense," says Evangelista of the Beavers. "From other teams we have been told that their two center backs like to play more physical and foul a lot."
CRC managed a 3-0-1 mark over the same timeframe, defeating Fresno City 3-2 prior to playing West Hills to a 1-1 draw. "If our boys play within our system and work on our movement together, switching the ball fast to the weak side and pick our spot to shoot at, we should win the game," says Evangelista of the team's game plan heading into the contest. "This game should be a good, hard game."
CRC travels to ARC for tomorrow's matchup, which is scheduled to take place at 4 PM. The Hawks will then travel to take on Santa Rosa before returning home next Friday when they will play host to the Mustangs of San Joaquin Delta College.