After two matches at the Madera Showcase, the Madera Coyotes girls soccer team was unable to secure a win after a 2-1 loss to San Ramon Valley on Friday and a 3-0 loss to Liberty-Brentwood on Saturday.
“The biggest takeaway from the weekend is that we can play with anybody in the state,” Madera head coach Cameron Hill said. “Both the teams had players with real pedigree and quality, but neither team played us off the field.”
Although the Coyotes only scored a single goal throughout the two-day showcase, the team showed determination to see the game out no matter the score, according to Hill.
“I saw that we have a willingness to play through anything. We fought till the end in both matches,” Hill said.
Against San Ramon Valley, Itzel Rodriguez and Penelope Leach combined for a second-half goal but couldn’t find the game-tying score late in the game.
Leach had two close chances in both halves as she operated as a forward and midfielder.
In the first half, after San Ramon Valley opened the scoring, Leach called her own number as she attempted to even the score all by herself. The crafty forward picked up the ball and put pressure on the opposing team, eventually forcing the Wolves into a worrisome position just outside the penalty area.
Leach accelerated and pushed the ball around her defender while she maneuvered around her defender for the shot. The San Ramon keeper charged Leach, forcing her into a tough shot. The ball slammed into the keeper, narrowly forcing it wide.
The junior took a free kick opportunity in the opponent final third but couldn’t find the target. Leach had the power, however, her accuracy on the kick was just a few yards off.
“Against San Ramon Valley, we had a great chance to equalize late, but the keeper made a big save,” Hill said.
Destiny Barajas, Aubrey Martinez, Mariah Zapata, Leach and Noemi Cabello played the full 80 minutes of the match, giving the Coyotes all they had.
On Saturday, the Coyotes faced Liberty-Brentwood in the final match of the 2018 Madera Showcase.
Madera showed their resiliency but couldn’t overcome the visitors as they registered five shots on goal, with three rippling the back of the net.
Taty Elsea, Adrianna Martins and Alexis Gutierrez led Liberty-Brentwood with a goal a piece for a 3-0 victory at Memorial Stadium.
When asked if the Coyotes faced any pressure as hosts, Hill said none more than a normal home game.
“Playing at home comes with a little more pressure but it’s not something I talked to the team about,” Hill said. “They know the caliber of competition so in a way it could make them play more loosely because we’re not expected to win.”
Moving forward to their next matches, the Coyotes have a few things to work on, but more importantly defending.
“Set piece defending will be a point of emphasis in the next couple days,” Hill said.