TURLOCK -- Through 80 minutes of its 2-0 victory over Johansen High, the Turlock boys soccer team was the epitome of poise and discipline.
But now comes a real test of those mental traits. The Bulldogs play Rio Linda on Thursday at 3 p.m. in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 second-round game at Joe Debely Stadium.
That's not a lot of recovery time, so Turlock must embrace the concepts of ample rest and proper nutrition, and there's the rub. Between Tuesday's win and the next contest resides Halloween.
"We have to eat healthy," said junior forward Jose Aguilera, who scored both Bulldogs goals. "It will be tough with Halloween there. We have a big opportunity in front of us that we can't waste, so we have to think for ourselves, think as a team and be disciplined."
On the field, discipline was rarely a problem against the Vikings. Johansen, which finished 7-6-4, actually squeezed off just as many shots as its host (13 apiece,) but the bulk of those were boot-and-a-hope prayers from outside 30 yards.
"They just kept it rolling and forced us to make changes, to bring some people up," said first-year Johansen coach Ryan White. "We to tend to take long shots and force things when we get to that side."
As a result of Turlock's tough defense, the Vikings had only three quality scoring chances, making it easy for Turlock tender Daniel Saldana to record the shutout.
The Bulldogs attacked early, hitting the post from close range in the opening 10 minutes before cashing in on their second chance. Fifteen minutes in, senior Jacob Garcia was tripped from behind in the box a scant second before a chance to finish into the empty side of the net.
A penalty kick was awarded, which Aguilera drilled into the lower right side for a 1-0 lead. That would stand until the 78th minute, when Aguilera, dribbling to his right, 35 yards out, spotted an opening and unleashed a right-footed scorching hook into the upper left corner of the net for his team-leading 12th goal this season.
"Jose's done an amazing job all year," said Turlock coach Doug Sperry. "You can see how hard he works and how he's always chasing and working. Everything runs through Jose, and he doesn't get a lot of goals or a lot of credit, but he sets things up for us."
Then, in perhaps the lone undisciplined moment of the game, Aguilera celebrated the goal by removing his jersey and twirling it above his head in celebration. In no way was he taunting the Vikings, but you still can't do that in high school soccer.
"I was all happy and I didn't think I would score from so far away," Aguilera said. "I knew I would get the yellow card, but I think it was worth it to get the win."