Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jazzei Ruiz controls the ball at midfield for the Coyotes during Wednesday’s loss to the Edison Tigers.
With a match against the back-to-back Div. II Central Section Champions, Edison-Fresno Tigers, Madera Coyotes girls soccer head coach Cameron Hill knew his team needed to play a near-perfect game.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen when the Tigers scored a goal in the fifth and seventh minute of the match in a 3-0 victory Wednesday in Memorial Stadium.
“They are one of the best teams in the league,” Hill said. “They have been that way for the past three years. They are now Div. I. It was hard for us to get out in the first half. We could have done a lot better than we did. We could have made it lot harder for them.”
The Tigers added a goal on a direct kick in the second half to complete the scoring.
However, the Coyotes played the second half without senior captain Penelopi Leach, who apparently hurt her leg in a first half collision.
“We kept her out, but we could have pushed her,” Hill said. “We hope to have her for Friday. She has that fighting spirit for us. The second half was similar to the first half. We limited their chances a little more in the second half.”
The Coyotes were coming off an overtime loss to rivals Madera South where the Stallions scored three unanswered goals in a comeback victory.
“After we played an emotional game on Friday, we weren’t there,” Hill said. “We needed to connect more with each other. We need to stop letting in easy goals and getting flat in the back. We aren’t doing what we need to be doing.”
The Coyotes had their best chance in the sixth minute with a free kick on the right at about 25 yards out. Mariah Zapata’s free kick went wide left of the goal.
In the 27th minute, Madera had a corner kick. Zapata’s kick went across the goal and was shot out of bounds.
Those were the best chances Madera had on goal in the first half and didn’t get much going in the second half.
“We had a few chances in the second half, but nothing major,” Hill said.