MABTON - The Mabton Vikings have played their first two games of the SCAC season against what they believe to be are the two toughest teams in the league.
The Vikings lost to defending 1A State Champion Wahluke this past Saturday in a shootout and lost to Royal City 4-2 yesterday (Tuesday) in a home soccer match. Starting the season 0-2 can be a challenge but Mabton isn't worried.
"We started out pretty rough by going straight into league play," Mabton Coach Junior Garcia said. "Wahluke and Royal City are probably the top two teams in our league."
Last night, Mabton struck first. Gill Macedo scored in the 39th minute to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. That held until the 50th minute of the match, when Royal City got the equalizer.
Garcia said his team played well in the first half and he was very happy with the performance. In the second half, he said, the Vikings started out slow and started making little errors.
The Knights took advantage of this with two penalty kicks midway through the second half. What was a 1-0 Mabton lead quickly turned into a 3-1 deficit.
Royal City scored a fourth goal in the 78th minute to ice the game. Mabton was able to get one more near the end of regulation. A Viking player was fouled inside the 18-yard box and Tony Espinosa kicked in the penalty shot to account for the final 4-2 score.
Jerry Barajas recorded six saves for the Vikings yesterday. Lupe Arceo made eight saves for the Knights.
"We have nothing to worry about," Garcia said of his team's 0-2 start. "We're a strong team, we just need to minimize our errors. Those little errors have cost us on the field."
Mabton will travel to Granger tomorrow (Thursday) to face the Spartans in a 6 p.m. match.