Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Itzel Rodriguez (10) celebrates with Gigi Gutierrez (20) after the Stallions defeated the Edison Tigers in the Div. III quarterfinals Thursday.
With a dominating victory over the Edison-Fresno Tigers, the Madera South Stallions girls soccer team took another step to defending its back-to-back Div. II Valley Championships.
The third seeded Stallions lost to the Tigers in the first round of the County/Metro Athletic Conference. However, Madera South defeated the Tigers on Senior Night and advanced to the Div. II semifinals with a 5-1 rout Thursday in Memorial Stadium.
“For some reason, they were a little afraid of making mistakes and were playing conservative,” head coach Fernando Delgadillo said. “I told them to play our game, continue to put pressure on them. We started to get rhythm, got that score and we started playing really well.”
Brielle Bitter took the pressure off the Stallions with a goal in the seventh minute. Gigi Gutierrez, Maria Leal, Rachel Ramirez and Sabrina Ibrahim added first half goals before Edison scored in the final two minutes of the match.
“In the beginning, they pressured us,” Delgadillo said. “I told them when they start moving up, we have to attack. We worked on our defense. When we were watching the boys game the day before, they did the same thing we did in the past and I brought it up to my defenders and they saw the mistakes. We started coming up late, making mistakes and sending the balls to the middle. Edison did that and we took advantage.”
The Stallions advanced to the semifinals after a 4-1 victory Tuesday over No. 14 Monache-Porterville. Gutierrez scored a pair of goals and Itzel Rodriguez added two more, both off set plays.
Madera South heads to Visalia on Tuesday to face second seeded Redwood in the semifinals at 6 p.m.
Madera South took control of the match in the seventh minute with the first goal of the game. Ibrahim got control of the ball in the middle and sent it to the right for Bitter. She beat the Edison defender to the ball and shot inside the upper right corner for the goal.
“It was a good triangulation and good combination between the players,” Delgadillo said. Three touches and the goal.”
The Stallions added an insurance goal in the 18th minute with a free kick from 35 yards away. Gutierrez stepped up and sent the ball to the front of the goal. Ibrahim battled with a defender for the ball, but the defender knocked the ball past her own goalkeeper for the goal and a 2-0 Stallions lead.
Madera South struck again five minutes later, also on a free kick. Leal stepped up to the ball 25-yards away and sent the ball past the Edison wall and into the upper right corner of the net for a 3-0 lead.
The Stallions kept up the pressure and added another goal in the 29th minute. Rodriguez had the ball on the left and sent it to the middle for Ramirez. She settled the ball and shot past the keeper into the left side of the net.
The scoring finally stopped in the final minute of the first half. Ibrahim got a pass from Gutierrez in the middle. Ibrahim turned and shot past the goalkeeper into the left side of the net for the goal and a 5-0 halftime lead.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard in the final two minutes of the match. The Tigers got a free kick from about 22 yards away and sent a ball under the crossbar for their lone goal of the game.