Girls’ Soccer Scores Victory and Redemption against the Vaqueros

Girls’ soccer (3-4-1) won 1-0 in the stadium against Irvine High on April 20, following a tough loss against University High on April 16. Their next game is scheduled against Northwood High at 3:15 p.m. on May 3. 

The first half of the game was characterized by driven balls up to center forward and junior Christine Chang and shots that skimmed the frame of the goal. The team finally capitalized on its dominance in possession thanks to a swift pass by Chang to left forward and junior Sloane DeTorres. DeTorres then drove the ball into the net in the last 20 minutes with the sole goal of the game. 

“I was kind of surprised,” DeTorres said. “I haven’t played that position for a couple of games, and Christine made a really great pass where she set me up perfectly, so I just had to take the touch and shoot. I was really hoping that it was going in because it was right there, so I’m so happy.”

To start off, the team made sure to combat Irvine High’s offensive players by utilizing players that remained at the edge of the field. This included right defender and senior Jordan Amlen finding right forward and junior Krista Calkins along the sidelines, or in some cases, switching the field with long, driven balls to left forward and freshman Sophia Soaf. 

While the Bulldogs maintained majority possession throughout the first half, there were several moments when the ball just barely missed the goal. With 27 minutes left in the game, Calkins nearly scored by lunging forward to head the ball from a corner kick taken by Amlen. 

“Overall, I loved the way we started the game with a lot of energy,” girls’ soccer coach Jeralyn Newton said. “It felt right. We were able to connect very well, so just those things, and the goal was obviously beautiful. Our goalkeeper played wonderfully, and it just felt that everything fell into place right.” 

The second half brought about new enthusiasm among the Bulldogs as they took half time to reflect on their offensive strategy. The half began with right forward and senior Allison Kramer driving it to Chang in the center with hopes of putting more pressure on the Vaqueros’ defense. 

Following a nerve-wracking moment when Irvine High’s right winger shot and almost scored  28 minutes into the half, the Bulldogs capitalized off of lightning speed from Chang as she rapidly dribbled down the middle of the Vaquero’s defense, wove her way through the defensive wall and tapped the ball to DeTorres, who scored the winning goal. 

“We were coming back from a tough loss against Irvine from the last game, but this time it was our home turf so we really wanted to win,” Chang said. “I remember near the end of the second half, I had beaten the majority of the defense line and saw Sloane in the corner of my eye. When I passed it to her, the moment felt so slow like time had stopped. Then you could see the score change from one to zero and a big loud cheer. It was a fun experience beating a team that you had lost to before.”

Despite their previous loss 5-2 to Irvine High earlier in the season, the team displayed monumental improvements in strategy and agility compared to their last game, according to Newton.

“One goal we had for the team was we wanted to be better than how we did against them last time because we lost 5-2,” Newton said. “So, our primary goal was to improve from the last time we played them four weeks ago, and we did, by a lot.”