ROSWELL — Junior Luis Esparza scored early in the second half off an assist by Scott Elliott, and Clovis High’s boys made the goal stand up for a 1-0 victory over Carlsbad on Saturday night in the championship match of the Roswell tournament.
In Saturday morning’s semifinals, Esparza scored a pair of goals to help the Wildcats (8-1-1) beat Roswell Goddard 6-1. It was the first tournament title for the Cats in the five seasons that Shaun Gill has coached the program.
“It was a really hard-fought match,” Gill said of the finale against the Cats’ District 4-5A rival. “It was both teams’ second match of the day. We just tried to stay out of the sun (after the semifinal win) and relax.”
CHS goalkeeper Josh Bussen was credited with 14 saves against Carlsbad. Esparza’s goal came nearly seven minutes into the second half.
“The second half we played better than in the first half,” Gill said. “The whole team played with more intensity and did things more aggressively than in the first half.”
Goals by Esparza and Elliott gave the Cats a 2-0 lead before the middle of the first half against Goddard, but the Rockets cut the margin in half on a tally by Rene Ruiz in the first minute of the second half.
Clovis then put the match out of reach with goals by Luis Miranda and Esparza within the next three minutes. Miranda added another goal later in the half and Baron Fillpot scored on a direct kick with about two minutes to play.
The Cats, who are within two wins of their total for the entire 2005 season (10-9), return to action with a 6 p.m. contest against Artesia on Tuesday at Yucca Soccer Complex.