Defense not enough for girls soccer team


Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune

Madera defenders Madison Barba and Samantha Ruiz (18) battle against Central on a corner kick during Wednesday’s loss to the Grizzlies.

In its battle with the Central-Fresno Grizzlies, the Madera Coyotes girls soccer team had trouble maintaining possession, but the defense held tough in a 2-0 loss in Memorial Stadium.


The Coyotes’ defense allowed an early first half goal and a late second half goal to the Grizzlies, despite the fact Central maintained possession most of the time.


“Our defense has been holding steady,” head coach Cameron Hill said. “We’ve been having issues going forward. The Clovis North game wasn’t indicative of our defensive performance this year. They’ve been playing well.”


The Coyotes only got off one shot on goal in the entire second half. The defense kept the Grizzlies at bay and didn’t allow a quality shot on goal until the final minutes of the match.


“Their shots were from the outside,” Hill said. “There wasn’t one they should have scored. They were very hopeful shots. Defensively, we stayed solid.”


With the defense established, Hill and the Coyotes now have to concentrate on the offense.


“That’s been an issue and, hopefully, we can resolve that,” he said.


Central scored the game’s first goal in the 11th minute and kept possession for most of the half.


The Grizzlies kept that momentum into the second half peppering the Madera defense. The defense held tough and kept clearing balls away from their goal.


In the 26th minute, Natalia Mata cleared out a corner kick. However, Central recovered the ball and sent it to the middle. The open shot went wide to keep the match within one.


On the ensuing goal kick, Central regained possession and had another open shot in the middle. The shot went off the crossbar and Madera cleared.


Central found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. Off a corner kick, Central got the ball to the front of the goal. A Central attacker kicked the ball on goal, but it was blocked by goalkeeper Breanna Salazar. However, Central got a foot on the rebound and hit it into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.


Madera’s lone chance on goal in the second half came in the 35th minute when Adriana Dana got the ball on the right. Her 20-yard shot went past the far post and out of bounds.


Madera next plays Tuesday at Buchanan at 3 p.m.

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