What a difference a year makes. Just ask Goddard’s boys soccer coach Fernando Sosa.
Sosa lost 9 seniors from the last year’s team. To this point, the Rockets have yet to win a district game until Tuesday when they defeated the Lovington Wildcats at home, 2-1, to move into a third-place tie in the district with the Wildcats.
“When we lost nine seniors like we did last year; I can’t expect a season like we had,” Sosa said. “We’ve come a long way. We just play so inconsistent. If we play all the games the same way, we’d be winning a lot more games.”
Sosa knew his team was young coming into the season, and he’d have to rely on his three seniors. Senior goalkeeper Blas Mendez, Leonard Melendez, and Jesse Reyes to help make a difference this season. The Rockets needed consistency in their play at every position after losing so many players.
“We played really well,” Sosa said, “especially our midfielders.”
Goddard (4-14-1, 1-3-1 District 4-5A) scored on a penalty kick by Edder Oretega Salazar, then on a fastbreak kick by Gabriel Sanchez. Sanchez made a kick straight on to give the Rockets a 2-1 victory.
This victory keeps Goddard’s faint district playoff hopes alive. Sosa seems to think that a season-ending win over rival Roswell on Thursday will open the door for a playoff berth.
“If we could have won some of the games we lost,” Sosa said. “We lost to Capital and Roswell, and to some other teams they have played, by the score of 2-1. We are there. We’re just so inconsistent from game to game.”
Sosa is confident that even though his team has taken their lumps this year, they have gained plenty of experience for next season. The Rockets will lose three seniors, with a plethora of juniors back, and the three freshmen who started this year. These players will add valuable experience and depth to next year’s team.
“We have an opportunity to get into the district playoffs,” Sosa said, “if we can beat Roswell. We’ve got to have a must-win on Thursday to have any shot. A week ago, we were looking at the top 12 teams, and the number 12 team in the district only had three wins.”
Goddard will play its season-ending game against rival Roswell at 6 p.m. Thursday at Cielo Grande Recreation Area.