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Hawks respond late, force tie

Marissa Lopez is playing like a seasoned veteran for the Liberty Hawks girls soccer team.

The freshman scored two goals in the Hawks’ overtime game McLane on Nov. 25, helping her team walk away with a 3-3 draw at home.

Senior Morgan Durazo added the other goal for the Hawks, who were coming off a 1-0 loss against Kingsburg.

“We were missing a couple of girls for various reasons, but it was good to get this result after the last couple of games,” Liberty head coach Erick Walker said. “We would have loved to get the win, but we’ll take this result.”

The Hawks scored the first goal in the 13th minute, with Durazo converting off a corner kick to make it 1-0. Liberty earned another corner two minutes later, but that opportunity ended without a goal.

Still, Lopez found an opening in the 21st minute and converted a shot from close range to give her team a 2-0 lead. McLane, however, picked up the energy towards the end of the first half and scored its first goal in the 39th minute.

With momentum on their side, the Highlanders threatened to score the equalizer in the final seconds of the first half. The Hawks’ defense cleared the danger after a mad scramble in the box and the teams went to the break with the score 2-1.

The Highlanders picked up where they left off in the first half, continuing to attack the Hawks. Their effort paid off in the 56th minute when Yadira Dominguez fired a shot which bounced off the post and into the goal. A minute later, McLane’s Gloria Sevilla broke free from the defense and found the back of the net to give her team a 3-2 lead.

“We got a little too comfortable. We kind of thought they were just gonna lay down,” Walker said. “McLane is a scrappy team. They’re not gonna quit. We just thought it was going to be over.”

In the 75th minute, Lopez dribbled from midfield and converted a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper to score the equalizer that forced overtime.

With both teams unable to convert their chances in overtime, the game ended in a tie.

“We were down and the girls dug deep, so I’m proud of them,” Walker said.


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