Del Oro looks to feast on victory

Golden Eagles soccer aim for another playoff year
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The night before a game the Del Oro soccer team always gets together for a feast. They use the time to decompress from a grueling week of practice, so they can go into the game clear-headed and unified. Golden Eagles soccer coach Matt Scammacca said that unity has been more important than ever the past two seasons. Each year has started with season-crushing injuries to some of Del Oro’s top scorers. Scammacca said that means defensive and other players have had to go out of their comfort zone to score goals. Last year, despite loss, the Golden Eagles made it to the Sierra Foothill League playoffs for the first time in three years. They carried a 5-11-3 record overall and 3-4-3 record in SFL play. This year scoring phenom Daniel Ortega broke his leg during try-outs, while Brady Tinucci tore his ACL playing club soccer. With a serious dent in its offensive, Scammacca said Del Oro has to look toward a more team-centered approach to scoring goals. “We have a lot of experienced seniors that are going to give us stability,” Scammacca said. “To score goals is going to be our biggest focus. Most of these players will go off to college and play at some level.” Scammacca said the Golden Eagles will also use their strong defense to shut other teams out from scoring, making it easier for them to win with fewer goals of their own. Heading up the effort are senior twin brothers Grant and Kyle Benedict. Grant covers center midfield duties and is also a team captain. Junior Paul Villa will also be a huge contributor, according to Scammacca. Goal keeper Nick Herman is part of the team’s defensive backbone at goal keeper. “When you have a solid goal keeper you almost always give yourself the opportunity to win games,” Scammacca said. In a league where most players are on the field year-round between school and club soccer, competition is even tougher. Even a highly-talented team often isn’t enough to hack it come playoffs in the SFL. “Every year we have one of the best teams in terms of talent, but we haven’t always taken care of business,” Scammacca said. “It’s almost like we beat ourselves.” Besides the obvious goals of making playoffs and earning a section title, Scammacca said Del Oro has a score to settle with Nevada Union. “To be very, very honest I would love to beat Nevada Union at Nevada Union,” Scammacca said. “Every year we go up there, the bus ride is long and we almost lose focus and it always causes problems for us down the road if we end up losing or tying there.” Scammacca said the Golden Eagles have all the right makings to be feasting on some pre-game grub and post-season victories. “The team is good,” Scammacca said. “We say it every year, but we have 20 guys on the team and we are just a good solid team.” Reach Sara Seyydin at For the latest in Journal Sports follow us on twitter @PlacerSports.