The Madera South Stalilons girls soccer team held its own for a half, but it was unable to slow down an explosive Clovis High School team in the end.
After going scoreless in the first 40 minutes, the Cougars came out on fire at the start of the second half and scored two goals to beat the Stallions 2-0 on Dec. 17.
“We should have been more offensive and take advantage of the opportunities that we had,” Madera South head coach Ramon Delgadillo said. “We had opportunities to take shots and we didn’t take the shots.”
Junior forward Samantha Tristan scored both goals for the Cougars in the first three minutes of the second half.
Delgadillo said he noticed the play developing on the first goal and instructed his players to get in position, but the Stallions were unable to react on time.
“I read what they were gonna do on the kickoff,” Delgadillo said. “I tried to tell my defenders to go and cover, but they reacted too late. That cost us a goal.”
Clovis forward Baylee Rouff had a chance to give the Cougars another goal in the 63rd minute, but her shot went wide. The Stallions earned a corner kick in the 65th minute, but they were unable to get a shot on target.
Madera South earned another corner in the 71st minute. This time, Kayla Gutierrez launched a header which bounced off the post.
“Towards the end, we started building up a little more,” Delgadillo said. “We created some opportunities. But again we go back to the shots. We only took one shot in the second half. That’s what we’re gonna be working on, making sure they get more shots.”
The Cougars had their own chance on a corner in the 77th minute.
Brooklin Woolf took the header off the corner, but her attempt was blocked by a defender on the line. That turned out to be the final try for either team.
Delgadillo said the key is to play wide against a tough defensive team such as Clovis.
“We need to play the ball wider and attack to the outside mids,” Delgadillo said. “They had three center-mids that were stopping everything, so we should have played it to the outside, build it up and then go to the center.”
The Cougars came into the game as one of the top teams in the Valley, having lost just one of their first eight games. Delgadillo was happy with his team’s effort against a powerful team.
“At this point, we’re improving little by little every game,” Delgadillo said. “We lost against Clovis, which is a very talented team.”