Yoemen soccer team competes at Cameron Tournament
The Cameron Yoemen soccer team hosted an in-season tournament to kick off their new season of 2022 on Jan. 6-8.
They played two games on Thursday; the first game was against the Connally Cadets. Cameron came out victorious with a 3-1 win over Connally.
“Those boys reacted the way I expected them to react with pride for our school,” Coach Ian Potthoff said. “That win showed them what type of team they can be. I think right before that win, they had doubts in their mind but now they don’t. They know they can compete with good teams.”
Up next for the Yoemen was a matchup with the Jarrell Cougars, and Cameron was shutout by Jarrell 3-0.
The game started with two early saves by the goalie, Hayden DeLaFuente (0), in the first two minutes of the game. The Cougars continued to pressure with a near scare in the sixth minute and another save by DeLaFuente in the tenth minute. It would stay Jarrells ball and attempted a corner kick and came up short.
Cameron then began to push the ball up the field. They had a goal opportunity in the fourteenth minute but came up empty, along with another missed goal shot by Michael Velasquez (10) in the 16th minute. Jarrell struck back on offense in the 18th minute and scored the first goal of the game. DeLaFuente came up with a big save in the 22nd minute but allowed a second goal in the last two minutes of the first half. This gave Jarrell a halftime lead of 2-0.
Cameron started the second half with a failed corner kick by Jesse Martinez (1) in the 36th minute and a save by DeLaFuente in the 38th minute. The defense stepped up as they stopped a corner by Jarrell in the 43rd minute and had an impressive save by DeLaFuente in the 44th minute. The Cougars eventually got the ball into the net with a goal for Jarrell on a free kick in the 56th minute and went on to hand Cameron the 3-0 loss.
“They were pressing up with three guys and they were trying to match our four guys in the back,” Potthoff said. “They had a player, #4, who was out of this world, had speed out of this world, and we were having to cover two men with that one guy. That put us at a disadvantage.”
The Yoemen had two more games to play on Friday, the first was against the Burnet Bulldogs.
“What we can take from these first two games is that we have the capability of beating all five teams that we’re playing in this tournament,” Potthoff said. “Burnet is going to be a team we match up well against, so it’s going to be a very good battle, hopefully we can take that one.”
They played Burnet early in the morning and were down early but tried to finish strong. Unfortunately the Yoemen couldn’t overcome the early goals and were defeated 4-1. In their second game, Cameron played a hard fought game against Academy but an own goal was scored and the Yoemen took the loss 1-0.
Cameron played their final game against the Hearne Eagles on Saturday and came out with a 4-2 victory. Cameron tried to strike quick but missed a goal attempt in the fourth minute. Shortly after that, the Yomen would get an impressive save by Hayden DeLaFuente (0). Cameron continued the pressure on Hearne with a missed goal in the seventh minute and a missed goal by Michael Velasquez (10) in the 13th minute. Hearne later went on a fast break and scored in the 16th minute to take a 1-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long as Cameron tied it at 1 with a goal by Jesse Martinez (1) on a free kick.
“With it being rainy, that might be the reason it went in,” Potthoff said. “I like Jessie kicking free kicks. He’s got a real strong leg and accurate as well.”
Cameron then took the lead with a goal by Velasquez in the 21st minute. The Yoemen tried to add on late in the first half but missed a free kick by Martinez in second minute. Halftime remained at 2-1 Cameron.
Cameron came out of halftime trying to score early but missed a goal attempt by Homero Najera (2) in the 33rd minute. Hearne then came back and tried to tie the score at 2 but missed a free kick in the 36th minute and then missed a corner kick in the 38th minute. Cameron turned up the aggression and extended the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Velasquez in the 43rd minute. DeLaFuente backed up the Yoemen offense with a great save in the 46th minute, however Cameron missed a goal shot by Velasquez in the 47th minute. Cameron survived an own goal on a free kick by Martinez that bounced off DeLaFuente and the legs of Angel Martinez (14) in the 48th minute. Velasquez then completed the hat trick and scored in the 53rd minute for his third goal of the game and a 4-1 lead.
“Michael’s our stud up top,” Potthoff said. “He’s the guy I rely on to score goals, he’s our goal scorer. We have a plan to get the ball at his feet and let him do work. I strategically place him up top because I know that Michael will go for goal every single time. He is not afraid to shoot the ball and he will shoot the ball. That is his forte.”
Cameron kept up the pressure on the Hearne goalie but missed the shot attempt by Sergio Zandate (16) in the fourth minute. Hearne would score a goal in the last minute, but the Yoemen still went on to win 4-2. Coach Ian Potthoff was proud of how his team fought back after giving up the early goal.
“We talked about that,” Potthoff said. “We talked about giving them an opportunity, keeping them in the game and that early goal was scary. But that’s the type of team that I have, that they’ll give up an early goal then they’ll score four more. I’m so proud of them for doing that.”
Cameron played again on Tuesday against the Robinson Rockets and were shutout 5-0.