ROCKLIN– Tuesday night, Whitney took full advantage of defending its home field. In the 2018 home-opener versus former Capital Valley Conference rival Roseville, the ‘Cats did just enough in the second half to ensure a 2-1 victory over the visiting Tigers.
In a game which offense was scarce, it took nearly a full half for the scoreless tie to be broken. In the last minute of the first half, Miguel Saavedra found the back of the net to put Whitney up 1-0 at the half.
“When I saw the ball hit off the crossbar, I realized this was my chance to score.” Saavedra said. “(Off the rebound) I was calm and executed the shot.”
The Wildcats extended their lead in the 65th minute, when Jack Grove fielded and blasted the ball into the goal to take a 2-0 lead.
“Tonight, we were really trying to create mismatches to get open shots for our guys,” Whitney head coach Joel Williams said. “(Both goals) our team was able to execute well.”
Roseville managed to get on the scoreboard on a penalty kick.
“We are a very young team,” Tigers head coach Pablog Gutierrez said. “I think if we develop, we have the potential to be one of the top teams in the league.”
Whitney will play a few more non-conference games before opening up league play with Del Oro Jan. 4. After missing the postseason last year, the Wildcats will look to make it back following their first season in the Sierra Foothill League.
“I think this is the closest knit group we have had in the last five or six years,” Williams said. “The boys really enjoy each other on and off the field. The seniors are really holding the underclassmen to high standards.”
Whitney 1, Lincoln 1, Tuesday
The Fighting Zebras fought back with a second-half goal and denied the Wildcats their third victory of the new season.
Kyle Reilly got an assist from Saavedra during the first 40 minutes to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Whitney had 17 shots on goal, but could not get another in the back of the net.
Whitney 3, Ponderosa 1, Dec. 7
The Wildcats struck three times in the first half and held their former CVC foe to just one second-half goal for the win.
Marcus Tovar, Zack Mason and sophomore Diego Sanchez all found the back of the net. Francesco Conetta was credited with an assist.
Jake Kirkland was in goal, making a single save while his teammates unloaded 12 shots on goal against the Bruins.