Hawks fall to Valley championship finalist
In a battle of Valley Championship game teams, the Liberty Hawks girls soccer team allowed two goals in a nine-minute span in a 3-2 loss to the Clovis Cougars at Liberty.
The Hawks, back-to-back Div. III Valley Champions, led 2-1 before the Cougars, last year’s Div. I Valley runner-up, scored twice midway through the second half for the 3-2 win.
“We had a little bit of a lull for about 9-10 minutes and that’s where they capitalized,” head coach Erick Walker said. “We had a player get sick and put a player in there and that’s when they scored.”
Despite the loss, Walker was encouraged with how his team played and said Wednesday’s game was probably his team’s best game of the season.
“That was probably our best game of the season,” Walker said. “We don’t know if it was Clovis High or better competition. I told the girls afterwards. They were disappointed with their loss, but happy with the effort. We walked off with our heads high because we competed with the Div. I Valley finalist last year.”
The Hawks scored in the fifth minute off an assist from defender Angelica Ponce.
“We were pressing really hard,” Walker said. “Angelica Ponce and played a ball to Raina. She took off with the ball to goal on the left side and sent it into the far post.”
However, Clovis went right back and scored off the ensuing kick to tie the match at one.
“They went right down and we lost our focus,” Walker said.
Liberty took the lead midway through the first half when Wristen took the ball to the end line and sent it back to Holly Strong, who sent a shot over the keeper for a 2-1 lead.
“Holly hit it from about 25 yards out and went right over the keeper’s head,” Walker said. “It’s the kind of shot she had last year and she’s finding it now.”
However, the Cougars scored 19 minutes into the second half to tie the score and added the go-ahead goal in the 28th minute of the second half for the 3-2 victory.