The Spartans did not disappoint during their first playoff game against Gates County High School Thursday evening. The Spartans completely kept the Red Barons at bay and took the win with a mercy ruling of 9-0.
The first half opened with a goal by Irvin Ocampo less than 10 minutes into the game. The Spartans would not see the net again for a while but they kept control of the ball playing offensively for over 90% of the game.
There were many opportunities to score but the Gates keeper managed to save many Spartan shots. The first half ended with the Spartans only in the lead by 1.
The Spartan team immediately found their control over the field in the second half. Only 30 seconds into the half, Arcenio Najera kicked the ball in which Irvin Ocampo completed a header that went straight to the back of the net.
Irvin Ocampo came right back at the 37:19 mark and scored again for a hat trick. Ocampo guided the ball past the Gates goalie one more time for his fourth goal of the night, giving Union a nice 4-0 lead. Arcenio Najera then gained control over the game achieving a hat trick also at 19:57, 16:19, and 15:07, respectively. Jose Matute assisted the last two goals by Najera.
Almost 10 minutes went by before the Spartans found the net again but Marco Baltazar changed that at 5:18. Exactly, one minute later Irvin Depaz rushed down the field and scored the last goal causing the game to end in a mercy ruling.
Spartan coach David Ameen was proud of the boys but also recognized some faults too. “It was a good win! We started the first half a little sluggish but I think that comes from the long break between games. We made some adjustments at the half and it paid off as you can see,” said the Spartan leader.
Ameen also spoke on the next upcoming playoff game. “ This Saturday we have got to play like we played in the second half for a chance at the win.”
Union is set to travel and take on a past opponent and close neighbor, Wallace Rose-Hill. The Bulldogs are back-to-back defending state champions. Union won against Wallace in their first match of the season but lost in the second, so this soccer match is set to be a good game and possible upset.