The Fresno City College men’s soccer team is off to a fast start, going unbeaten through its first nine matches (7-0-2).
Led by Johnny Rodriguez’s 11 goals, the Rams are ranked No. 3 in the state’s junior college rankings. Team captain and sophomore defender Andres Rios is anchoring a back line that has helped the Rams outscore its opponents 29-7.
Last Friday, Rodriguez, Rios and four other Rams found the net in a 6-0 win against a 10-man Bakersfield College team.
On Tuesday, the Rams will take their record across town, playing at first-year program Clovis Community College for the first time in the clubs’ Central Valley Conference opener. Kickoff is 4 p.m.
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Rios and Fresno City aren’t looking at Clovis (3-3-2) with any special regard.
“I guess it is a little rivalry, but you just have to take it like any other game,” Rios said. “That’s what’s working for us – just taking it game by game.”
Rams coach Eric Solberg agreed with that assessment, though he noted his team will be playing against some familiar faces. He’s a longtime friend of Clovis coach Chad McCarty, recruiting players from him over the years as the Clovis North coach. Tuesday will mark the first time they’ve coached against each other. The Crush are led by freshman forward Christian Cline, who has four goals and three assists.
“It’ll be an emotional game on both sides. But we’ve got to make sure that we play and not get involved in the emotional part of the game,” Solberg said.
Quintos gets record – Fresno native and Central High graduate Kelsey Quintos hit a milestone when she led Nevada to a 1-0 win against Fresno State on Friday in Reno.
It was Quintos’ 12th career shutout for the Wolf Pack, making her the program’s all-time leader while also snapping Fresno State’s five-match winning streak in the Mountain West opener.
PacWest awards – Fresno Pacific senior forward Amber Rodriguez (Sanger High) was named the PacWest women’s soccer player of the week and Dominican goalkeeper Alyssa Ramos (Central High) was named the PacWest women’s soccer freshman of the week.
Rodriguez scored two goals for the first time in her career and added an assist in the Sunbirds’ 4-0 victory against BYU-Hawaii.
Ramos allowed one goal in a 1-0-1 week for Dominican, making five saves in a 1-1 draw with Hawaii Hilo then posting her first career shutout with seven saves in a 3-0 win against Hawaii Pacific.
Hord, Republic FC onto playoffs – Sacramento Republic FC and defender Elliot Hord (Bullard High/UC Davis) will begin their postseason Saturday against the Orange County Blues. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Hord, who joined the team in August along with Fresno Fuego teammate Christian Chaney, has played in Sacramento’s past six matches, filling in at right back and has a nice history against the Blues, providing a late game-winning assist in Republic FC’s 2-1 win in Sacramento earlier this month.
▪ Former Edison and Clovis North High standout Villyan Bijev had a solid run to close the regular season and help Portland Timbers 2 finish with a five-match winning streak though they missed the postseason. The 23-year-old midfielder scored five goals and assisted on three others in his last five matches of the season, and he finished as the team’s leader in both categories with eight goals and 10 assists.