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After 80 minutes of back-and-forth action and close calls, the Amador and Argonaut high school varsity boys soccer teams’ final rivalry game of the season came to a close with an unsatisfying scoreless draw on Tuesday, February 11 in Sutter Creek.

This result, or lack thereof, didn’t sit well with players on either team. So when they met up in the middle of the field for the traditional post-game handshakes, the idea of doing a shootout to decide a winner started floating around.

“One (of the players) said that it would be great to have a friendly round of penalty kicks to have a winner, but in name only, (and) everyone agreed,” Amador coach Greg Wall said.

There is no overtime or penalty kick shootouts in regular season high school soccer. Teams get three points in the standings for a win and one point for a tie, so officially Tuesday’s season-ending rivalry game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Unofficially, however, the 80 scoreless minutes were merely a warmup for an exciting show of spirit and sportsmanship.

Both teams lined up next to each other for a friendly round of penalty kicks, shouting encouragement to shooters and goalkeepers alike. After five rounds of kicks, Amador had netted three goals and Argonaut netted one, but as coach Wall appropriately put it, “the real winner was sportsmanship.”

“Across the years of the rivalry, there have certainly been heated games and this one was of course a tense battle from end to end,” Wall said. “But the role of sports helping mold young men into good characters was on full display.”

Tuesday’s rivalry game concluded the season for Amador

(2-5-3 Mother Lode League), which finished the 2019-20 season in fourth place in the MLL. Argonaut (1-5-3 MLL) closed out its season with a make-up game against Calaveras on Thursday, February 13, needing a win to finish the season in a tie with Amador for fourth place.

Calaveras 2, Bret Harte 0

Calaveras used strong defense to defeat the rival Bullfrogs on Tuesday, February 11 in San Andreas. Senior Andrew Celli provided the offensive punch, scoring two goals, including one on a beautiful free kick in the second half.

“Our defense pitched another shutout,” Calaveras coach Rob Leetham said. “We have played great defense all season and that has kept us in every game … very proud of our defenders and our entire team defense.”

Calaveras (12-4-3, 5-1-3 MLL) concluded its regular season with a make-up game against Argonaut on Thursday and will finish third in league play behind co-champions Sonora and Summerville. Calaveras, Sonora and Summerville will represent the MLL in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, which start next week. Playoff brackets are expected to be posted at cifsjs.org by this Friday evening, February 14.

Calaveras 6, Argonaut 1

Calaveras came out firing and scored four goals in the first 10 minutes, earning a win on the road in Jackson on Thursday, February 6.

The Mustangs lone goal came on a Jesse Flores penalty kick midway through the first half. Flores also led the team with shots on goal with two, while Adrian Covarrubias and Patrick Hauser each had one shot. Defensively, the Mustangs were led by Caleb McElfish in goal. McElfish finished the game with 12 saves. Assisting McElfish on defense were Sam Bonini, German Lizaola and Nick Robertson, each of whom had more than 10 steals.

Varsity Girls Soccer

Amador 8, Argonaut 0

The Buffaloes cruised to a rivalry win over the Mustangs to close out the regular season on Tuesday, February 11 in Jackson.

Tuesday’s win for Amador, coupled with Sonora and Summerville playing to a 1-1 draw, vaulted the Buffaloes ahead of Summerville into a second-place finish in MLL play. All three teams, along with fourth place Calaveras, will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, which begin next week. Playoff brackets are expected to be posted at cifsjs.org by this Friday evening, February 14.

JV Boys Soccer

Amador 3, Argonaut 0

The Buffaloes earned the shutout in a rivalry matchup with the Mustangs on Tuesday, February 11 in Sutter Creek. Elias Torres sprinted through the Argonaut defense from his midfield position to open the scoring for Amador and Max Parkey sealed the win with a goal with less than a minute to play.

“Both teams were spirited and tenacious with their play,” Amador coach Greg Wall said.

Defensively for Amador (4-5-1 MLL), Preston Smith earned the shutout in goal with defensive support from Nathan Wiebe; and Logan Oribello energized the team with his effort.

Calaveras 7, Argonaut 0

The Mustangs lost to Calaveras on Thursday, February 6 in Jackson. Alex Girton and Noah Smith led the Mustangs attack and Connor Schwing led the defense in goal. Schwing was assisted on defense by George Consolo, Alex Giron and Michael Martinez.

JV Girls Soccer

Argonaut 1, Amador 0

In the final game of the season for both teams on Tuesday, February 11 in Jackson, the Mustangs came out on top thanks to strong team defense and a goal from sophomore Ashley Santacruz with about 6 minutes left in the game.

Amador finished second in MLL play with a 6-3 record and the Mustangs (4-3-3 MLL) placed third.

Coaches: Email your team’s results to jmalamed@ledger.news. All levels are welcome. Photos also welcome!

Parents: If you’re not seeing your favorite team’s results here, that means we are not getting them! Talk to your coach and encourage them to report results or ask what you can do to help!