MODESTO — Modesto High moved a step closer to the Modesto Metro Conference boys soccer championship on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Enochs.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 7-2 in conference and now owns a half-game lead over Gregori (7-3), with a game in hand. Enochs, meanwhile, drops to 5-5.
The Eagles were in this one all the way, and threatened with the more dangerous shots on goal in the first half. Kofi Iadoo's shot on frame was kicked away by Modesto goalie Juan Mariscal.
"The first 10 minutes our goalie made a couple of big saves," said Modesto coach Matt Mendes. "If he doesn't make that kick-save, it changes the whole game."
The Panthers settled and eventually took a 1-0 lead late in the first half.
"I slid and kicked the ball in with my left foot," said midfielder Aaron Ochoa, who scored from just inside the box.
The Panthers controlled the tempo in the second half, dominating the ball through the midfield, working the ball east to west, and rolling up a big advantage in time of possession.
"I felt much better about that second half than I did the first," Mendes said. "We were able to stay with our gameplan, more movement side to side. We don't have the type of 'wheels' up top to stay with them."
The Eagles nearly scored the equalizer with about 6 minutes remaining in regulation.
Cruz Trenado's header off a corner kick appeared destined to tie the score, but it hit the post and Modesto was able to clear it.
"I felt like were still in it in the second half," said Enochs coach Mike Montelongo. "They dominated a little more in the middle, but we had some opportunities on some crosses. This very easily could've been a win for us."
Modesto scored the clincher with about 60 seconds remaining in regulation when forward Reilly Blickenstaff finally was able to find the back of the net. He'd missed earlier on a header, a volley and on a booming attempt from about that 35 yards that Eagles goalie Cesar Gonzalez (six saves) was able to corral.
"My first touch was to the right and that put their goalkeeper off balance," said Blickenstaff. "From there, I just played it underneath him."
DAVIS 5, BEYER 1 Leo Hermosillo scored two goals for the Spartans in an MMC contest. Jose Cruz, Jorge Quiroz and Cristian Yepez also scored for Davis. The Patriots' lone goal came on a free kick by Daniel Torres. Beyer goalie Anthony Salvatore made six saves in the loss.