Coyotes end preseason with second half winner
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jazmin Pinon controls the ball at midfield to keep it away from a Kerman defender during Thursday’s victory over the Lions.
The 2021 preseason is officially in the books and the Madera Coyotes girls soccer team looks more than ready to meet the new County/Metro Athletic Conference head on.
Madera faced eight Division I teams including all six Tri-River Athletic Conference schools — Buchanan, Clovis West, Clovis, Clovis North, Clovis East and Central — to emerge battle-tested and ready for a dogfight in the CMAC.
Thursday’s contest against Kerman gave the fans and Coyotes alike a glimpse into what could be a strong 2021 campaign.
Mariah Zapata and Jazmin Pinon led the way for Madera with goals in the first and second half that powered the Coyotes through the match.
“Regardless of the division, Kerman has some girls who can really play going forward. They could play on any team,” Madera Coyotes head coach said. “I thought it was a good win and performance overall. We let only a single goal in and we played well, for the most part.
Madera got off to a strong start as their attacking efforts were finding chances, but converting them was easier said than done.
Sheyla Posos and Pinon caused fits for the Lions backline early and often as the pair were focusing their runs down the left flank, allowing Natalia Mata to join in the Lions final third.
Pinon found Posos halfway through the first half with a knifing ball through the Kerman final third. Posos picked up the pass and fought through multiple Kerman challenges
She was unable to get a strike off before the Kerman keeper cleaned it up
Madera continued moments later when Mia Roberts linked up with Pinon, finding space in the Kerman final third. Pinon picked up her head and squared a ball across the box to Roberts. Roberts collected the ball, turned and fired at goal, but it was saved.
Kerman had a chance of their own in the 23rd minute. The Lions overloaded the right side of the pitch before the forward unleashed a high shot forcing Coyotes’ goalkeeper Breanna Salazar to punch ball over the goal and out of bounds.
The deadlock broke in the 25th minute as Madera’s Adriana Dana set up teammate Pinon for the opening goal.
Dana picked up her head and played a decisive pass into space for Pinon, who collected the pass in the final third before her right-footed shot fired past the Kerman keeper 1-0.
Madera entered the halftime break leading 1-0 only for a brief moment as the Lions even the score at 1-1.
Hill and his girls dug deep and battled throughout the second half and 13 minutes later, in the 56th minute, a corner kickfrom Adela Alvarez found the head of Zapata, who guided the ball into make it 2-1, Madera.
The Coyotes not only closed out the visiting Lions, but their non-conference games for the rest of the season.
“I think we are good and I think we have seen some losses, but overall I think it has shown us a lot about how to play, and just preparing us,” Hill said. “I wanted us to be battle-tested before we got into league because it is going to be very tough.”