The Gainesville Leopards’ soccer team hasn’t lost a game this season. The Leopards recently tied International Leadership of Texas Garland 0-0 on Thursday, Jan. 17 and again drew to a 1-1 tie against Crandall on Friday, Jan. 18.
Their last victory came on Tuesday, Jan. 15 in a 2-0 win over Bridgeport.
Gainesville head coach Andrew Kimmel said it was one of the best wins of the season for the Leopards.
“Bridgeport is a solid team,” Kimmel said. “I mean that may be the best competition we see before the playoffs. Bridgeport went to the state finals I want to say two years ago. Going in, we knew the team was going to be solid and they were really fast. They fought for every ball. We came out fighting for every ball and passes were on point. It was not an easy game.”
Kimmel said after breaking down the film, he saw a lot of positives for the offense.
“We got up to 13 passes in a row,” Kimmel said. “ We did pass well and we play well, but it was a stressful game for me. It was a close game. Bridgeport had lots of chances. They could have capitalized on chances, but we were able to keep the shutout.”
One of the key returners from last season is goalkeeper Chuy Torres and he has posted seven shutouts already this season.
“I would say the whole defense is led by Chuy,” Kimmel said.
Jamie Guerrero and Aaron Saucedo picked up both the goals for the Leopards against Bridgeport and both came off free kicks.
“Jamie Guerrero scored from about 20 yards out in the top left corner and Aaron Saucedo scored from I think 42 yards out,” Kimmel said. “He noticed the goalie was a little too far out he snuck one right over the top of the goalie. A lot of times your games are going to come down to a set piece whether it’s a corner kick, the free kick or you’re lucky, a penalty kick in the box. When you have a set piece soccer, it’s unique.”
As the Leopards continue through their tournament portion of the schedule, Kimmel said one of the top priorities is getting and keeping players healthy.
“I’ll play the guys that don’t start or get a lot of minutes,” Kimmel said. “They’ll see a lot of time just because I want to make sure that after we finish this tournament season, we’re starting to get on the mend. I’ve got three or four guys that are out right now with injuries. That’ll be the first thing and apart from that I really love how we’ve already come together. We’re pretty solid up front, in the middle and on defense if we can get everybody healthy, we’ll be fine.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip