The Rio Americano soccer team is currently first in their league. However they have had some bumps in the road on the path way to first.
Their first game of league against El Camino was a trouncing, winning by a score of 4-1. In their second game against Cordova,
Rio went in expecting to win. In the first ten minutes they scored 3 goals, goals coming from senior defender Mark Ledbetter, senior defender Ian Kinn, and junior forward Ahmadu Barrie.
In the second half Rio relaxed and only scored one more goal through senior forward Berk Usanmaz.
In their third game, Rio beat second placed Whitney 2-0. With both goals coming from junior midfielder Ryan Burns. The game was a comfortable win for the Raiders who sat back and possessed the ball in the second half.
Then they played Mira Loma.
It was supposed to be an easy win for the Raiders, but they struggled to score and tied 1-1.
The game was essentially a defeat for Rio, who had a perfect record up until that point. “When we tied Mira Loma it felt like we had lost,” senior Alex Rizzo said. The only goal for Rio came from Barrie.
Next up was the hardest game of the season against at El Camino. The Raiders fought hard against the pumped up Eagles.
Fortunately, the Raiders scored first. The breakthrough came from a good play between sophomore forward Josh Parkinson and junior forward Ricardo Vega. Vega broke through the El Camino defence to bury the ball into the back of the net. In the second half the Eagles rallied and tied up the game. The game ended in a 1-1 draw despite Rio’s best efforts.
When the Raiders played Mira Loma for the second time, Rio crushed them 5-1. The Raiders were elated with their win against Mira Loma because with that win they were able to defend the previous year’s league championship.
“Winning the league and going undefeated was unbelievable for me,” Barrie said. They are moving into the section playoffs eager to try and win the title.
The offense will be run primarily through Barrie, who leads the team with 10 goals, with four of those coming in the last three games of the season.
Even though the team has won their league, their main season goal of winning the sections are just beginning and the team is going have to work much harder than they have all season to reach their goal.