Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Neveah Alonzo battles for possession with Buchanan during Friday’s loss to the Bears in non-conference action.
The Madera South Stallions girls soccer team dropped a close match with the Buchanan-Clvois Bears after conceding a late goal in a non-conference game at home.
Although the Stallions played well defensively throughout the game, Buchanan’s Alessia Anguiano capitalized on a loose ball in the penalty area for the game-winning goal Friday evening on the Madera South campus.
“Our defenders played awesome,” head coach Ramon Delgadillo said. “The defenders played exactly how I wanted them to play. We told them to roll, mark your man and communicate. That’s why we kept them to zero for most of the game.
“We practiced the way we wanted to play Buchanan and everything went very well and everything was on target. I believe my team is improving and getting better.”
Led by goalkeeper Makayla Martinez and center-back Nayeli Garcia, the Stallions caused problems for the Bears all night defensively. Garcia utilized a strong right foot to close down her opponents and send long balls deep to Neveah Alonzo.
Martinez held her own between the posts with multiple saves late in the game to keep her team close. Although she let a goal past her, her consistent concentration kept the game from getting out of hand.
The Bears and Stallions opened the match on even terms.
Madera South had their chances early however, in the form of the long ball. Martinez tried her luck on a few occasions early the first half. She lifted a ball over the center of the pitch to the waiting head of Alonzo but couldn’t make the connection after the Bears sniffed out the chance.
In the 26th minute, Alonzo continued to provide the spark for the Stallions after she sprinted down the left flank looking to cut inside but was closed down by the Buchanan defense.
Madera South showed just enough offensive attack to make Buchanan think twice, but couldn’t muster enough to win the game.
Both teams entered the half scoreless, but the game took a turn in the second half.
With the time running down, the Buchanan team picked up their pace. However, a frustrating Stallion defense faced them.
With less than 15 minutes to go in the second half, Buchanan’s Taylor Phillips lifted a ball into the Stallions penalty area, searching for an open attacker.
The Stallions, so strong in defense all day, failed to clear the ball out of danger and Anguiano made them pay.
Buchanan scored and put the game to rest.
The Stallions moved to 1-5-1 on the season and look to Atwater today.