A day before the Liberty girls soccer team faced Madera South, Liberty first-year head coach Eli Liuba had his players practicing a certain type of shot where they chest the ball, position it, then turn and shoot.
In the tightly contested defensive battle against the Stallions (3-5), working on that shot at practice paid dividends for the Hawks (9-2-2) as a goal by junior forward Juliet Olsen turned out to be the difference Thursday night in a 1-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
Olsen, who had the game-deciding goal in a 1-0 win over Central Valley Christian-Visalia in the Division IV Valley Championship game in February, was able to hit the eventual game-winner, again, after receiving a pass from senior captain forward Danni Devine and precisely kicking in a goal that lofted into the left side corner over Stallion sophomore goalkeeper Jocelyn Salazar.
“The goal is exactly what we worked on in practice yesterday,” Liuba said. “You trap the ball, turn and shoot. It was worth a million bucks because it was perfectly angled and hit the corner to clean out the cobwebs up there. Juliet’s got a shot and can kick from half the field, she just needs to take advantage of it.”...