The Madera South Stallions girls soccer team capitalized on two first half goals to down the San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers 3-1 to earn its first County/Metro Athletic Conference victory of the season at Lee DaSilva Field in Memorial Stadium.
Coming off five-consecutive defeats, getting back in the win column was imperative for Madera South. Behind goals from Anai Casillas, Rachel Ramirez and Julie Marroquin, the Stallions picked up the win.
“They played a great game,” Madera South head coach Ramon Delgadillo said. “We’ve been practicing really hard and I’ve been tough on them, but in a positive way. It paid off for us.”
After the Panthers countered and caught the Stallions by surprise in the 11th minute, Madera South found themselves behind.
Ramirez came to the Stallions’ rescue shortly after with a brilliant attacking move in the Panthers’ final third. She dribbled down the pitch before she unleashed a powerful right-footed shot just past the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands for the equalizer.
Madera South later capitalized on poor marking by the Panthers just before the half ended. Casillas made it 2-1 after a scramble in the Panthers’ penalty area allowed her to kick the loose ball to the keeper, which deflected into the goal.
Confusion ensued after the officials waved off the goal for a perceived offside. The officials huddled for a moment and realized Casillas was onside before awarding the Stallions their go-ahead goal.
With a 2-1 halftime lead, the Stallions tamed the Panthers and controlled the second half.
Although the game was in hand, the Stallions attacking threat never diminished.
After the Panthers failed to clear the ball out of danger, Marroquin left her position deep in midfield and followed up the play.
Her instincts led her to the ball where she swung her right foot at the deflected ball and into the back of the net.
The Stallions cheering in total surprise.
Madera South rode their late goal to a 3-1 victory, earning their first CMAC victory of the season.