The Calaveras High School boys’ soccer team got a major shot in the arm this week, as three starting players who were part of Calaveras’ cross country team traded their running shoes for soccer cleats. In their first game since finishing fourth at the CIF State Cross Country Championship, Bennie Hesser, Garrett Hesser and Jamie Espiritu had a hand, or foot, in each Calaveras goal that was scored.
After trailing 1-0 at the end of the first half, Calaveras outscored Denair 4-0 in the final 40 minutes for a 4-1 win in the fog Tuesday night at Frank Meyer Field in San Andreas.
“It kind of went the way I expected,” Calaveras head coach Rob Leetham said. “I figured we’d be a little rusty in the first half with adding our three cross country guys to the starting lineup. They are fantastic players, but we just had to get in sync a little there offensively. We were able to put it together in the second half and that’s what we are hoping to see a lot more of this year.”
With the majority of the field covered in a low fog, Calaveras trailed by one to begin the second half. With 30:50 to play, Bennie Hesser got a pass from Espiritu and was able to shoot one pass the Denair goalie to tie the game 1-1.
Espiritu gave Calaveras the lead for good with 12 minutes to play, as he scored in front of the goal. Two minutes later, Bennie Hesser gave Calaveras a 3-1 advantage with a header. Calaveras’ final goal came with an assist from Garrett Hesser to freshman Daniel Acevedo, who scored his second goal of the year.
“He reminds us of Andrew Celli or Jamie Espirtu when those guys were called up as freshmen,” Leetham said about Acevedo. “He’s very poised and very intelligent, along with the great skills he has and that helps him along.”
Calaveras goalkeeper Allan Ramos made seven saves while allowing just one goal.
Calaveras won its first game of the year Nov. 26 on the road against Ripon Christian 2-1 in the rain. Acevedo scored the first goal of the night, but Ripon Christian tied it 1-1 heading into the second half. Calaveras took the lead with seven minutes left to play with a goal from Italian foreign exchange student Simone Passoli. Acevedo and Andrew Celli recorded assists in the win and Ramos had nine saves.
Calaveras (2-1) will take part in the Golden Sierra Tournament Friday and Saturday in Golden Sierra. Calaveras’ next home game will be Dec. 10 against Escalon.