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Calistoga Boys Soccer: Wildcats start season 2-1 after slashing roster to 24

Calistoga Boys Soccer: Wildcats start season 2-1 after slashing roster to 24

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The Calistoga High School boys soccer team had an impressive win over visiting Technology last Wednesday, Sept. 8, in its North Central League II opener.

With the temperature over 100 degrees at game time, the Wildcats beat the Titans of Rohnert Park 2-1.

Calistoga (2-1) had started the season with a dominant road victory over Lower Lake, 12-2, followed by a 4-2 home loss to Making Waves Academy of Richmond.

Tech scored the game’s first goal midway in the first half and took its 1-0 lead into halftime.

But the second half was dominated by the Wildcats’ offense. Isaac Garcia scored at the start of the second half and Christian Caldera capped the scoring with the winning goal in the final minutes.

Head coach Hector Contreras said his top players are captains Isaac Garcia, a senior center midfielder, and Alexis Escobedo, a senior center mid and right wing, and senior striker Christian Caldera.

After not having a season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Contreras had three dozen players to choose from.

“We are 24. We were 36 and had to make some cuts,” he said. “It’s a little unusual because the last time we had 36 was probably when I was in high school back in 2011, my senior year. That’s probably the last time we saw that (size of a) group of guys.

"It’s a little complicated because we are not all at the same level, so we are trying to work them up. I have got great assistant coaches helping me out and, little by little, (taking) baby steps, we are going to get there and we will make sure that everybody gets playing time.”

The next game for the Wildcats was to be at Roseland Collegiate Prep in Santa Rosa on Wednesday. They return home Friday to host Credo of Rohnert Park at 5:15 p.m., after the girls host Credo at 3:30 p.m.

Calistoga has a cross deflected by a visiting Technology player during their Sept. 8 game.

Calistoga captains Alexis Escobedo (4) and Isaac Garcia (19) meet with visiting Technology's captains and officials before their Sept. 8 game.

Calistoga's Isaac Garcia (19) helps a visiting Technology player stretch his hamstring in their Sept. 8 game.

Players from Calistoga and visiting Technology of Rohnert Park high-five each other after their Sept. 8 game.

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Christian Caldera quarterbacked the Calistoga High football team as a freshman and sophomore before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the Wildcats' 2020-21 season. With football back, he's one of eight seniors on a team that will look to his brother, freshman Edgar Caldera, to quarterback the Wildcats.

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