Emiliano Arteaga shattered a Mendota record and the Trojan varsity soccer team was in mid-season form as it blasted Rockford Lutheran, 9-0, in the season-opener on Aug. 27 at Rockford.
Arteaga led the attack for the Trojans with five goals. With his second goal, he became the all-time leading goal scorer at MHS. His fifth goal of the contest was the 48th of his career.
Ivan Figueroa also got in on the action with a pair of goals, while Yahir Diaz and Anthony Tolentino had one goal apiece.
Assists went to Diaz (three) and Tolentino (one).
Yanni Karahalios posted the shutout in goal.
“The boys came out aggressive with high pressure and took advantage of mistakes made by Lutheran from the pressure to capitalize on five goals in the first half,” stated Mendota coach Nick Myers. “We were able to move the ball well and force Lutheran in to chasing us and the ball all over the field.”
The Trojans battled the other conference team from Rockford and came away with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Christian on Aug. 29 at the MHS field. Christian is the defending Big Northern Conference champion.
Mendota trailed 1-0 at half before it finally got on the board 10 minutes into the second half on a free kick by Ivan Figueroa from 25 yards out to tie the contest. The game went into overtime where Yahir Diaz netted the game-winner with just over a minute left in OT. Freshman Jasiel Watson got the assist.
Karahalios was between the pipes and had nine saves.
“This was a fantastic win for our team and our confidence,” said Myers. “We talked all summer about being able to hold our own against anyone in the conference and area. This game goes to show our team, while young, is capable of beating anyone.”
Mendota finished with a 2-2-1 record in the Oregon Tournament on Aug. 30-31.
The Trojans defeated Richmond-Burton (3-2) and Orion (2-1), and lost to Rockford East (5-0) and Woodstock (2-1). They tied 1-1 with Schaumburg Christian.
Diaz had two goals in the tournament, while Arteaga, Watson, Figueroa, Johnathan Cortez and Luis Garcia had one apiece.
“The boys gave everything they had at this tournament after a grueling overtime win on Thursday,” said Myers. “Overall, I’m extremely happy with the results of the first week after playing seven games in a five-day span.”