Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South goalkeeper Melani Rinder comes out to make a save in Tuesday’s loss to Clovis. Rinder made her share of saves in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over Kerman.
In a game they it never trailed, the Madera South Stallions girls soccer team closed out the Kerman Lions with three second half goals for a 4-1 non-conference victory.
The Stallions received goals from Kayla Gutierrez, Andrea Vasquez, Aliah Avila and Brianna Velasco to pick up the victory Wednesday at Madera South.
The Stallions used their speed on the outside to set up scoring opportunities on the inside.
Jameela Sanchez, Brianna Maciel, Aliah Avila and Jesmary Rivera picked up assists in the well-rounded match.
Madera South had its first chance at goal with a long shot from Velasco, but her 35-yard shot went over the goal.
In the 20th minute, Stallions goalkeeper Melani Rinder came out with an attacker coming fast and smothered the ball before a shot opportunity.
A minute later, Madera South had a prime opportunity to score. Joselyn Ocampo intercepted a pass in front of the Kerman goal. She took the ball to the middle, but her shot on goal was stopped.
The Stallions capitalized on their opportunity in the 22nd minute. Gutierrez received a long ball from Sanchez. Gutierrez controlled the ball after a bounce. She dribbled once and shot into the left corner for the opening goal of the match.
In the 25th minute, Rinder came out for a save on a shot from point blank range.
Six minutes later, Kerman appeared to have scored the equalizer. On a free kick, Kerman got a touch on a ball to get it by Rinder for the goal. However, the goal was nullified by an offisides call.
Madera South had a chance in the 34th minute when Jimena Gutierrez sent a ball across the field to Sanchez, who popped it to the front of the goal. Kayla Gutierrez just missed getting her head on the ball to the goal.
Just before halftime, Gutierrez controlled an Autumn Moreno throw in. Gutierrez took the ball to the goal on the right and shot across the face, but the shot missed just left.
In the second half, Kerman got a one-on-one with Rinder, but Rinder came out and forced a shot over the goal.
In the 15th minute, Madera South added to its lead. Maciel sent a shot on goal, but it went off the crossbar. Vasquez came in and put a head on the ball to get it into the back of the net for a 2-0 Stallions’ lead.
Kerman cut the lead in half three minutes later, Kerman got the ball in the middle and sent it to the right. With an open shot, Kerman sent past Rinder and into the back left corner for the goal.
Madera South answered four minutes later with a breakaway goal. Jesmary Rivera got the ball on the right and sent it across to Avila, who touched the ball into the net for the goal.
In the 30th minute, Velasco got the ball on the right and sent it to the middle for Vasquez, whose shot went wide.
Three minutes later, the Stallions added to its lead. Avila got the ball on the left and popped up a ball across the field to the front. Velasco touched the ball over the keeper and the ball bounced into the back of the net for the 4-1 victory.
Madera South takes down Yosemite
Madera South’s Andrea Vasquez tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Stallions in a 3-1 home win against Yosemite.
Yosemite had a chance to score the game’s first goal on a free kick in the 23rd minute. However, Emily Rich’s kick was blocked by the wall of defenders.
The Stallions opened the scoring in the 28th minute on Dec. 11 when Jimena Gutierrez converted a shot from inside the box. Vasquez scored in the 34th minute, converting a header in front of the goal. In the 37th minute, Gutierrez passed to Brianna Maciel, who shot from close range and missed the target.
The Badgers earned a corner in the final minute of the first half, but they were unable to get a shot on goal, sending the teams to the break with a 2-0 score.
“I like how we were working together as a group,” Vasquez said. “We were communicating, passing and getting involved with each other.”
Madera South made it 3-0 in the 49th minute on a goal from Vasquez to Maciel. The Badgers, however, finally found something to celebrate in the 73rd minute. That’s when Emily Rich scored on a free kick to give her team its only goal of the game.
Energized by the goal, the Badgers desperately pushed for another score in the final minutes. The Stallions’ defense, however, didn’t allow any shots on target.
“I like how our defense worked hard,” Vasquez said. “They don’t stop at all. They work together.”
Yosemite earned a corner before the final whistle, but that chance also ended without a shot goal. The Stallions cleared the danger one more time in the final seconds and sealed the win.
“We did well, but we need a little more intensity in the game,” Madera South assistant coach Chris Sanchez said. “Overall, the girls are playing a lot better than they played last year.”
Madera South improved to 6-0-2 on the season after taking down Yosemite. It was the team’s fourth straight win after beating Dos Palos, Orosi and Kerman. The Stallions beat Reedley and Chwochilla in the first two games, then followed up with two ties before the current streak.
“We have a winning season so far,” Sanchez said. “We’re ranked fifth in the division. Like I keep telling the girls, ‘there are four more teams ahead of us, so we’re still not No. 1.’ We’re gonna keep pushing hard until we get the No. 1 spot.”