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Second half goal lifts Stallions

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Itzel Rodriguez controls the ball in the midfield during Thursday’s victory. Rodriguez scored the game-winning goal midway through the second half.


Despite allowing a last minute goal for the third time this season, the Madera South Stallions were able to get a goal in the second half for a 2-1 victory over the Edison-Fresno Tigers on Senior night.


The Stallions got the go-ahead goal from Itzel Rodriguez in the 22nd minute of the second half and held off the Tigers for the win Thursday night.


“We got more confident after we got that goal,” head coach Ramon Delgadillo said. “I was able to bring Gigi (Gutierrez) back and help with the defenders and midfielders.”


Yulianna Lomeli scored midway through the first half to take the early lead. However, the Tigers scored in the final minute of the first half to tie the game.


It was the third straight game the Stallions allowed a goal in the final minute of a half. They allowed a late goal against the San Joaquin Memorial-Panthers in regulation of an eventual 2-2 tie and lost with 15 seconds left in overtime, 2-1, to Bullard.


“I think everything is mental,” Delgadillo said. “They play well throughout the game. In the last minute, they make mistakes. We started working on our defense all practice long yesterday. We did much better than we did against Bullard. We still have a long way to go.”


The Stallions got on the scoreboard first. Off a throw-in, defender Maria Leal settled the ball and sent a pop-up to the front of the goal. Lomeli went in and headed the ball past the keeper inside the far post for the 1-0 lead.


Edison had a chance for the equalizer, but Madera South goalkeeper Mikayla Martinez made a kick save on the shot and the ball was cleared out.


However, the Tigers got a through ball and got by Madera South defenders with about a minute left in the match for the game-tying goal.


Madera South still had a chance in the final seconds of the half. Off a free kick, Lomeli got the ball in front, but her chip shot went just high on goal.


The Stallions dominated the pressure up front early in the second half, getting three good chances on goal before Rodriguez scored the game-winner.


Gutierrez got the ball in the middle of the field and fed up front to Rodriguez. She forced the keeper, dribbled by her and shot into the empty net for the 2-1 lead.


Madera South’s defense, led by Gutierrez, kept the Tigers from getting a legitimate scoring chance on goal in the final 22 minutes.


Madera South had a chance at a late insurance goal when Brielle Bitter got the ball in front and beat the keeper. However, her shot went over the goal with a defender right on her.


“I put Brielle at the top and go with speed.,” Delgadillo said. “In the last minute, sshe got a breakaway and I know what she can do.”


The Stallions close out the regular season Tuesday against Madera.