Fredericksburg ends Eagles historical run

Jesus Marquez defends against a Fredericksburg attacker in Pleasanton’s 4-2 loss in the area round of playoffs. GABRIEL ROMERO | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Pleasanton Eagles’ historic season came to an end in the final 15 minutes of their area playoff game.

On Tuesday, the Eagles lost to the Fredericksburg Battlin’ Billies 4-2. The Billies scored twice within a two-minute span in the final 15 minutes to hand Pleasanton the loss. 

“We knew what kind of game it was going to be, we fought back and forth,” said Head Coach Alejandro Hernandez. “It was going to be who didn’t run out of gas first. We ran out of gas.” 

Fredricksburg scored first off a header that deflected off Jose Hernandez and into the Pleasanton goal in the 20th minute.

Two minutes later, Carlos Garcia answered back with a goal and Silverio Banda added a score on a penalty kick with 10 minutes left in the half. 

Under a minute to go in the first half, Fredricksburg tied the game up 2-2.

Hernandez said he told the team to come out of the half faster and match Fredericksburg’s play. It was a stalemate until the final 15 minutes.

“Our mindset wasn’t there after the third goal,” Hernandez said. “We’re gonna build for next year and just get ready.”
He knows the building blocks are set for Pleasanton and they will be ready next season to create more history.

Pleasanton finished as district champs for the first time in program history, going undefeated in district play.

At the end of the game, the Eagles met in the middle of the field and talked about the season. Banda was in the huddle, but he was laying down with his hands over his head thinking about his final season as an Eagle.

Jose Angel Perez fights for possession in Pleasanton 4-2 loss to Fredericksburg in the area round of playoffs GABRIEL ROMERO | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

“I thought we were going to win this game,” Banda said.

He said the team next year can make even more history than this year’s team.

“We tried so hard. We were a really good team and it was pretty fun,” Banda said.

Garcia said the final 15 minutes were hard for the team to get back into the game. He said the team put their heads down, but they didn’t quit.

He said the plan was to nullify their best player, which happened until that final 15 minutes.

“It sucks, but we made a lot of history and I’m glad I could be a part of this team,” Garcia said. “We set the standard for next year’s team, so they can push and be a better team than we were.”

Miscommunication and mistakes lead to the two goals, Garcia said.

For senior Isom Smith, he couldn’t talk about the game without tears rolling down his face after the defeat. 

“I have no idea what happened. I just feel like we left it all on the field,” Smith said.

He said leaving a great legacy behind was something the seniors should be proud of now.

“I’m just so proud of everyone and I want this team to go to state next year,” Smith said.

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