Three victories last week extended the Jacks soccer team’s win streak to eight and put Quincy in an excellent position going into the final games of the regular season.
Quincy’s overall record stood at 9-1 and 4-0 in the league, with a hold on first place in the Caribou Trail League. Each of the other four teams in the CTL had lost two or more matches as of Monday, giving Quincy an edge toward the league title.
The Jacks have only five games left in the regular season, and all but one will be against a league opponent.
Reflecting on the team’s strengths, head coach Francisco Tafoya pointed to steady improvements and the leadership – how captains Jorge Nunez, Isaac Lopez and Alejandro Mendoza communicate with the other players. He was impressed with the win streak. The team’s only loss this season has been a 5-4 game against Wenatchee.
Not usually prone to making predictions, Tafoya thinks this team can go far in the post-season, saying he saw “no reason why we can’t be making it to the final four of state.”
In the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s RPI ranking, Quincy was No. 2 in the state among 1A schools last week. No. 1 was Montesano.
With the RPI ranking and the win streak going for them, Tafoya said every opponent is looking to take the Jacks down a notch.
After giving the Quincy boys more of a breather – four days off – during Spring Break this year, the Quincy coaches encourage them to keep pushing on and playing hard.
The first of their three games last week was in Cashmere on April 11. Quincy won 2-1.
Antonio Valadez scored in the 32nd minute of the first half with an assist from Brayan Nunez. The first half ended at 1-0, Quincy up.
Efrain Pena scored in the second minute of the second half, off an assist from Alejandro Mendoza.
The only other goal was by Cashmere, on a free kick from 20 yards out with 13 minutes to go.
In this game as in many others, Quincy’s defense was solid. Quincy had 15 shots on goal, while Cashmere managed only three. Eduardo Diaz protected the Quincy net for the whole game
Tafoya said defense has been a strong point for the Jacks all season, primarily led by Alex Mendoza.
“I know he wasn’t big on playing that role and taking it on,” Tafoya said, but Mendoza is a great captain, he added, helping some young players in the back who did not have starting defensive experience, such as Jose Garcia and Rafael Perez.
The team was not satisfied with the score, expecting more goals in the Cashmere game.
“Something was off, we just weren’t our normal selves,” Tafoya said.
On April 13 in Chelan, Quincy won 4-2.
Jorge Nunez scored first, with an assist from Antonio Valadez during the 33rd minute.
That tandem put another ball in the Goats’ net in the 39th minute, but this time Nunez fed the ball to Valadez for the score.
Nine minutes into the second half, Nunez took a pass from Isaac Lopez and scored his second goal of the match.
During the next 13 minutes, the Goats scored twice, making the score 3-2.
In about the 29th minute of the second half, Jorge Nunez got fouled, and Lopez took the penalty kick and hit it, making the score a more comfortable 4-2.
Eduardo Diaz played about 65 minutes in goal for the Jacks, then Romualdo Sandoval stepped in as keeper.
Quincy’s defense again played a large role.
“Alex Mendoza is doing a great job back there,” Tafoya said.
Garcia, a freshman, was impressive on defense, as was Edgar Guzman, a senior defender, who, Tafoya said, is smart and probably the fastest player on the team.
Tafoya also credited the midfielders, who were well-positioned against Chelan, connecting and controlling the ball.
“Our midfield was just on point,” he said.
A non-league contest at home Saturday against the Royal Knights, was intense from the start, but Quincy went the first half without scoring. The second half, however, belonged to the Jacks, and they won 6-1.
Quincy moved the ball within range of the goal many times, but neither team got many good shots in the first half. The Knights got one in the net in the 35th minute.
After the halftime break, the Jacks went back on the field and attacked with good shots at the Royal goal over and over, and Ken Morales hit one in the fifth minute, tying the score.
One minute later, Isaac Lopez blasted in a goal from about 25 yards out, putting Quincy in front.
Jorge Nunez scored in the 13th minute with an assist from Antonio Valadez.
In the 25th minute, Brayan Nunez smacked the ball from about 20 yards away past the Knights keeper. Lester Chacaj got an assist on the play.
Antonio Valadez scored next, in the 27th minute, with an assist from Jorge Nunez. Nunez had put a shot to the keeper’s right, it was deflected, and Valadez was there to knock the ball in.
Efrain Pena scored the final goal with nine minutes left from about 10 yards out.
Next up for the Jacks is a home game Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. versus Omak. The Omak Pioneers’ league record was 0-4 as of Monday.
On Saturday, the Jacks will travel to Redmond to play the Overlake School at 1 p.m. – a non-league game.