Saturday night in Oxnard will definitely be one to remember as the Guerreros took on Temecula FC in a battle that saw the boys in green and white score four goals and collect their first win at home on the season.
“I wanted them to continue to focus on where we are at,” Oxnard head coach Juan Florez said. “We are building a team and this [2018 season] is just a part of the process.”
Coming off a Mexico win earlier in the day the Oxnard faithful came in full force to celebrate as well as cheer on their hometown team.
The scoring got started in the 29th minute when the Temecula backline held the ball for too long and the pressure by Raul Gonzalez allowed him to take possession and be in on goal. Gonzalez found himself one on one with the goalkeeper and a skillful chip gave his side the 1-0 lead.
“This was my first game up top,” Gonzalez said. “I had been doing that all week at practice and was able to chip Ty four times.”
The Guerrero’s would continue the pressure for the entirety of the first half and their quick ball movement would be the difference, but they were unable to add on to their 1-0 lead in the first 45.
The second half would begin and it was clear that the Guerrero’s were not looking to slow down.
Gonzalez would again get his name in the scoresheet in the 64th minute. The Guerreros would work their way down the right side of the pitch in search of the second goal. Gonzalez would make a run to the back post and a perfectly timed ball across found his feet and allowed him a one-touch finish.
It was all Oxnard as they pushed on and in the 69th minute Gonzalez would receive a through ball from Luis Rivera and he would again find himself face to face with just the goalkeeper. He would size up his opponent and again find the back of the net. Gonzalez would secure his hat trick and this was the first hat trick in the history of the Oxnard Guerreros.
Oxnard led by a score of 3-0 until the 76th minute when they received a free kick at the top of the box. Gonzalez would be the man to take the opportunity and take it he did. An unfortunate deflection off the head of a Temecula defender allowed the ball to find the back of the net and award Gonzalez his fourth and final goal of the game.
In just one game Gonzalez launched himself to the top of the scoring charts for Oxnard and help secure just their second win on the season.
The Guerreros were also able to maintain a clean sheet for the first time at home on the season.
“We experimented with the back line and it paid off,” Florez said.
Aaron Glover, a player who was asked to play out of position, was a surprise in the latter parts of the season. “We brought him back and he is such a good person that he said put me wherever you want,” Florez said about Glover.
Glover and his fellow players on the backline will look to continue to gel in the offseason and put together more good performances in the next NPSL season.
“They just need to give us time,” Gonzalez said. “This is our first season with this team and we have some good players. Next season we will do way better.”
Contributor: Gabriel Naudin/Oxnard Guerreros FC
Photo Credit: Crooked Tooth Media