Baler keeper Manuel Garcia keeps an eye on the ball as teammates Kenny Hastings and Andres Corona break up a corner kick Frdiay against Alvarez.

Without the ball, Juan Roque sprinted toward the Alvarez defenders, trying to force a mistake. And it didn’t take long for the Eagles to do just that.
Just seconds into the Balers’ sixth league game of the year Friday, Roque stole the ball inside Alvarez territory and scored an easy goal just outside the keeper’s box.
The quick score put the Eagles, who entered the game after winning three straight games by a combined score of 13-0, into shock. The Balers dominated control of the game from the very beginning on their way to a 2-0 victory.
The win gives San Benito a 3-2-1 Tri-County Athletic League record and a chance at earning a Central Coast Section playoff berth.
“I guess the boys are motivated,” head coach Tony Deras said. “They want to make history pretty much. I believe they are motivated because they want to make CCS. It’s a young program, it’s up the them. That’s what I told them. They just want to make sure this program is going to the right path. This year, we’ll make CCS because they are motivated about it.”
And if Friday’s victory proved anything, they are ready for a second half run.
The Balers continued to use a sweeper on the defensive end – a change from last year and this year’s preseason – and limited the Eagles chances on the equalizer.
With five corner kicks, the Eagles had chances, but keeper Manuel Garcia stopped all Eagle shots. Despite constant pressure by the Balers, who played with a short bench thanks to injuries, San Benito never earned a corner kick, but were able to draw nearly 10 Eagle fouls.
Ricardo and Juan Roque pressured Alvarez throughout the game. San Benito’s pressure intensified in the early minutes of the second half.
Quick passing from Eduardo Ojeda, Luis Fausto and Roque gave the Balers an open shot five minutes into the second half.
Ojeda fired his shot wide of the net as the Alvarez goalie tried to pressure the San Benito forward.
The Balers had one scary moment late in the middle of the second half, when keeper Garcia was sent off the field momentarily with a yellow card. Travis Selski, who was the Balers’ sweeper, moved to keeper for a minute and faced one chance from Alvarez.
Selski stopped the Alvarez lone chance before Garcia returned to the field. In the half, Alvarez wasted a penalty shot just outside the keeper’s box and hit a post on a centering attempt.
The game remained 1-0 until the 70th minute, when San Benito’s Brian Arevalo scored on a Baler rush.
With quick passing and a couple of moves, Arevalo scored on a long shot from just outside the box.
With a 2-0 lead, the Balers put the game away by loading the defensive end, shrinking the Alvarez passing lanes.
“The defense is stepping it up,” Deras said. “They are playing better than they played in the preseason. They understand what they have to do.”
Deras was proud of the team’s effort after taking the early lead, he said.
“Well sometimes it’s not (a good thing) to start winning a game like that,” Deras said. “Because they get over confident. That happened against Palma, but it didn’t happened today. Basically, they are understanding what they want. We are all on the same page. Everyone knows we want to qualify. We want to win games. They are on the same page. They aren’t playing selfish. They are playing with the ball as a team.”
The Balers hope to continue their run Tuesday against North Salinas. The Balers host the Vikings at 3:30 p.m.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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