The Garden City Buffaloes soccer team has not only won its opening four games of the season, but capped the streak with a tournament championship by defeating the Goddard-Eisenhower Tigers, 2-0, in the Goddard Invitational final Saturday afternoon.
“This has been our best game of the season so far,” head coach Joaquin Padilla said of the win. “This was one of the games where we can see what our full potential can be and where we want to be later during the middle of the season.”
The Buffs (4-0) opened up the scoring in the championship game with a 34th minute goal from Kler Moo, who gave Garden City an early 1-0 lead. The Moo goal was the only one of the half, and the Buffaloes took the advantage into halftime.
It only took Garden City three minutes in the second half to double its lead, as freshman Jesus Garcia netted his first goal of the season. Sophomore Salvador Bustos then added a third tally in the 50th minute.
The Tigers did made a bit of a comeback, scoring goals in the 60th minute and again in the 79th minute — but it was too little, too late.
“Overall, I thought we played well, even at the end, specifically our defense and attacking midfielders," Padilla said. "Our guys were getting tired at the end of the game.
“(Goddard-Eisenhower) had good opportunities to score and took advantage of them. They had a couple crosses and took advantage of the fact that they were taller than us.”
Garden City did close out the game, earning a 3-2 victory and giving the Buffaloes the Goddard Invitational tournament title for the second time in three years.
“It's nice to win the championship, but we are looking at how well our guys can play heading into the middle of the season,” Padilla said.
“We are still experimenting for the right combination to play out there, and it's nice to see that we have some talent we can build on this season.”
“We are a much better team than we were in the first game, and have improved overall as a team," Padilla said. "I definitely saw improvements from the (semifinal) game on Thursday.”
The Buffs will look to continue their early season opening win streak, as they host the Thomas More-Prep Monarchs Tuesday at Buffalo Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:50 p.m.
The Garden City tennis team's scheduled tournament at Great Bend on Saturday was postponed due to weather. The event will be made up on Sept. 19.