Glencoe's undefeated streak continues
The Glencoe boys soccer team continues to impress, remaining undefeated over the last three seasons in the difficult Pacific Conference.
The Crimson Tide have amassed a 14-0-5 conference record over the last three seasons and despite playing a quality Liberty team to a draw this past week to keep the unbeaten streak alive, head coach Tom Stephens said little if anything is ever spoken about what has become a highly impressive run.
"We don't talk about it much," Stephens said. "From the first day of tryouts we try to instill a winning attitude on and off the field. We try to play for each other, not for ourselves, so we celebrate the program more than any individual. Which is pretty special."
Glencoe boasts nine seniors on this year's team, but additionally start five underclassmen. Stephens believes this is the most talented sophomore class the school's had since 2007, and thinks that in time they could take the program to an even higher level.
"As this class grows and matures together, it will only raise the bar for the whole program," the coach said. "I'm excited for the future, but at the same time don't want to lose focus on the moment."
Liberty too has experienced recent success, winning last season's conference championship and making it to the state playoffs' second round before losing to eventual state runner-up Summit.
First year head coach Tom Olen said it's been fun and exciting watching this year's team establish itself after losing so many leaders from last season's squad.
"One of our biggest challenges this year was replacing the leadership and skill from a large group of seniors that we lost last year," Olen said. "It has been fun to watch players on this team find their role and start to gel as a team. Our leaders have stepped up and really taken charge of the team."
The Falcons got off to a slow start this year, but have been undefeated in their last three matches, including draws with conference-powers Forest Grove and Glencoe.
"I think that says we are here to compete and we think we can play with anyone," Olen said. "We don't back down and we aren't afraid of a challenge."
Liberty took a 1-0 lead against Glencoe on an Oscar Romeo first-half goal, then ultimately played the Tide to a 2-2 tie with a second goal from Angel Rodriguez, coupled with Tide scores from both Oscar Calixtro and Edson Zacaries.
Olen said what impressed him most in that game, along with throughout the season, has been his team's wide-ranging contributions.
"What's really cool for our team is that our key contributors are coming from every age group," he said. "The leadership of Jose Davila has been something that all of our players have been able to rally behind, and Anthony Godinez has stepped up in a major way, changing positions to be our center back this season and providing a calm and organizing presence in the back. Additionally, Damian Miranda's work rate and constant effort always gives us a chance to score on the attack, and Hector Venegas filled a position of need for us on the offense and has a very bright future."
Individually, Stephens praised his three senior captains, Zacaries, and both Oscar and Danny Calixtro for their leadership, and said it's that type of contribution that will allow their recent success to continue.
"They are strong cornerstones for the underclassmen to look to and to carry on the tradition of success."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.