Faced with adversity the likes the team has never seen, the Western Nevada FC Coyotes took to the pitch this past Saturday against the Visalia Golden Bears in makeshift kits, thanks in large part to the side being robbed while at lunch in Stockton. With only their training kits, the Coyotes went across the street to a t-shirt design location and had numbers stenciled on so that they could still play. Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, the Coyotes took out their aggressions against the home side, winning 8-0 and remaining in first place in the Wild West Conference.
The Coyotes were on the board within the first minute of the game thanks to an own goal by Visalia. Jake Crim and Danny Baumgartner would each add goals to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead at half. The score would stay that way until the final 20 minutes when “Fast and Furious Football” took over. Five goals were scored in that time frame, led by Salifu Jatta with two. Kieran Toland, Stephen Toliver, and Anthony Chinchilla all had one goal apiece.
The win all but guarantees that the Coyotes will have home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. A win or draw against AFC San Francisco on June 16 will give the team the number one seed. A loss could also give the side the top spot in the playoffs, provided they don’t lose their goal differential advantage of +13 over second place Cal Victory.
Head coach Ian Hill focused on the character of the team. “Two hours before the game, the majority of our players had items stolen from them and that we had no cleats, shin guards, or uniforms,” Hill said. “Then (we) go out and get an 8-nil victory. That is a testament to the character, focus, and competed dedication that our crew has.”
Jatta spoke of the team’s resiliency. “We showed resiliency after what happened prior to the game,” Jatta said. “We came together and took care of business. I’m happy to get on the scoresheet and help us get one step closer to winning the league.”
Manny Medina mentioned how the team faced adversity. “We came out and did what we had to do,” Medina said. “That day we faced adversity and we didn’t let it knock us down. There is still a lot we can improve on and we will improve. We now move into a phase where playing intensely has to be accompanied by playing intelligently.”
This week, the Coyotes will host East Bay FC Tecos Fire in the quarterfinals of the Wild West Conference Cup. The game is currently scheduled to be played at Golden Eagle at 5 pm.
For more information on the Coyotes, please visit www.nvcoyotesfc.com.