Atwater strikes late to knock off Pitman

TURLOCK -- After tying the game at 1 against Pitman High with 15 minutes to play, an Atwater player shouted to coach Jimmy Brewer, "How much time do we have left?"

"We have plenty of time, calm down," Brewer shouted back.

Atwater's Marco Madrigal didn't waste any time, scoring two minutes later to give the Falcons a 2-1 win Tuesday at Pitman.

"We don't trail that often, and when we do I have to calm the players down," Brewer said. "I had to tell them that we had lots of time to score. We knew if we kept attacking, eventually we would get one in the back of the net."

Atwater remains undefeated in the Central California Conference at 3-0-1 (13-2-3 overall); Pitman fell to 3-2, 14-4-1 overall.

Madrigal's goal was his third of the season. Midfielder Jorge Carmona set up the play by staying with the ball and kicking it into the penalty area.

Atwater's Jesse Horta chased it down and had a one-on-one with a Pitman defender. He drilled a shot that bounced off goalkeeper Adam Amirfar to Madrigal, who kicked it in.

Two minutes earlier, Julian Horta, Jesse's brother, showed why he is one of the CCC's best offensive players.

Horta received the ball about 30 yards from the Pitman goal and dribbled forward. He was double-covered, with one defender in front of him and the other to his left. Horta pooched the ball left and broke to the right, running past his fronting defender. He retrieved the ball with an open shot and kicked it past Amirfar to tie the game.

"We finally got aggressive," Brewer said. "We did them a favor by slowing it down and didn't show a sense of urgency.

"That was the first aggressive run we made all day long and then Horta takes the ball downfield and gets by two or three guys and scores a goal. It was just aggressive."

Pitman scored early in the third minute when forward Vincent Perez broke open and lined a shot past Atwater goalie Fernando Rios.

The Pride managed seven shots on goal after the score, but couldn't find the net.

"The first goal of the game was what we wanted to do, but we got inconsistent," Pitman coach Oscar Mercado said. "We made some defensive mistakes with those goals. It's just part of the game."

Atwater's defense was able to hold CCC leading scorer Ruben Calderon scoreless. He came in with 19 goals.

Pitman's second-leading scorer, Sergio Sousa, didn't score and had to sit 10 minutes for drawing a yellow card for arguing with the referee.

One of Pitman's best defending midfielders, Matt Wade, also received a yellow card late in the game and didn't return.

The two teams will meet again Oct. 18 in Atwater.

Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at or 578-2300.