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Tackett Gets a Kick Out of His Last Home Game at Ventura, 1-0

Boys' soccer: Goal by Anderson in 36th minute gives coach a victory over Rio Mesa, his alma mater.


VENTURA — Todd Tackett couldn't have asked for a better ending to his coaching career.

Tackett watched his Ventura High team defeat Rio Mesa, 1-0, in a nonleague boys' soccer game Tuesday night. Hackett is retiring after six seasons as Ventura coach and Rio Mesa is his alma mater.

"I take personal pride in beating Rio Mesa," said Tackett who is 7-4-1 against the Spartans. "There's no team I get more amped to play than Rio Mesa.

"I feel so attached to the game because I have so much history there. Rio Mesa is the school I love to beat every year. I always make sure to beat them."

Tackett's wish was granted by Brian Anderson, who scored in the 36th minute. It was Tackett's final home game at Ventura.

Anderson knocked in his own rebound after his initial shot was blocked by goalkeeper Corey Morrison. Anderson, who took five of the Cougars' six shots, was Ventura's lone offensive bright spot.

Aside from Anderson's goal, Rio Mesa (12-8-2) controlled the game.

Ventura (13-6-4), which played without midfielder Mike Enfield, who had commitments to the under-18 U.S. National team, relied on counterattacks for all of their offense in the second half.

"I felt it was a 50-50 game, even though they did outshoot us," said Tackett who coached for six years at Rio Mesa.

"Our defense came up big. It was good for us to end with Rio Mesa because they are a good soccer team."

Despite trailing by a goal, the Spartans didn't force an offensive attack.

They remained calm and patient and built quality attacks out of the back.

"I'm more proud of these guys than I've ever been proud of any team," said Rio Mesa Coach Ross Greaney, whose team outshot the Cougars, 11-2, in the second half. "They played like a pro team. They passed, moved and worked together."

Rio Mesa had countless opportunities to score in the second half. However, luck wasn't on their side. Shots by Jimmy Heathcote and Emma Basurto hit the crossbar.

"This team has been through hell," Greaney said. "They lost their captain [Chris Schwarze to a broken foot], never have they played with the same team twice, they've lost players to sickness, grades, injuries and deportation and yet they keep coming and working.

"It may not show this year in this high school season, but when each of these individuals go into their club seasons and to college teams next year they are going to be phenomenal winners."

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