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The Madera Tribune

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Strong powers Hawks past McLane

December 5, 2017

The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team blanked the McLane Highlanders behind two goals and an assist from Holly Strong in a non-conference match at home.

 

“It was good, it was an improvement over Tuesday’s game against Fresno High,” head coach Erick Walker said after Thursday’s match. “We still have some things to work on, but overall it was a good game.”


The Hawks opened the match firing on all cylinders. Strong paced the Hawks with a goal in each half and her striking partner, Brooke Wristen, chipped in a goal along with an assist for the 4-0 victory. Freshmen twins Sofia and Sara Garibay each added an assist in a creative day for the Hawks.


“She rarely has off nights,” Walker said of Strong. “Right now we are helping her find her sweet spot again. But she had two quality goals tonight,”


The Liberty Hawks opened the match on the right foot after they worked their way up the pitch and created multiple early-goal opportunities.


Wristen positioned herself inside the penalty area where she latched onto a searching pass and delivered a strike toward goal.


The ball was mishit however, causing it to gently to dribble to the keeper.


Sara Garabay followed up with a chance of her own after she took on two defenders in the box before she unleashed a shot towards the far post.


Her shot narrowly missed the target and her teammate making the late run at the back post.


Strong tried her luck in the sixth minute after she dribbled down the pitch before unleashing a strike from 15 yards out. The ball swerved in the air but safely into the waiting gloves of the Highlander keeper.


Strong found the mark in the 18th minute.


She received the ball at the top of the box before she side stepped her opponent and buried the ball in the bottom right corner for a 1-0 lead.


Just before halftime, Wristen gained possession just outside the penalty area before she created space with the dribble and fired a curved shot over the goalkeeper’s head for a 2-0 lead.


Her skillful touch left the keeper stuck to her line.


At the half, the Hawks looked dominant up 2-0 and unlucky with many shots that were left begging.


The Hawks added to their tally 10 minutes into the second half after Lauren Alexander picked up her head from 15 yards out and fired in a shot that deflected off the post and in.


The Hawks clearly had an advantage over a Highlander team that looked tired and hopeless at times throughout the second half and Liberty used that to their advantage.


Four minutes later, Strong scored again after she picked up a deflected pass and accurately dispatched the ball in the bottom right corner.


Her goal not only added to an already impressive night, but effectively secured a victory in front of the Hawk faithful.

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