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Hawks, Coyotes open season with tie

Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune

Liberty’s Sophia Garibay (right) battles with Madera’s Mariah Alvarez during Friday’s season opening tie. Garibay scored the Hawks’ lone goal in the match.


The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a goal in the first half, but the Madera Coyotes came back with a goal in the second half to forge out a 1-1 tie to open the season.

Liberty’s Sofia Garibay scored in the 17th minute of the first half for a 1-0 lead. Alexya Lugo-Sulca scored the equalizer in the 11th minute of the second half.

“It was a good goal,” Liberty head coach Erick Walker said. “We’ve only been truly together for two weeks. I wish we could have built upon that first goal, but I think we thought we were going to score more goals.”

“I thought we played well in the second half,” said Madera head coach Cameron Hill. “I wish we could have gotten more goals, but we didn’t. I felt like we were in control. They had their dangerous moments.”

Despite the tie, both Walker and Hill were happy to see their team on the field competing more than a year after their 2020 season finished.

“It was good to play,” Hill said. “It was competitive. It was the first time we have done it in such a long time and it was fun.”

“Usually when we play Madera, we are a few games in,” Walker said. “This year, we’re playing them in the first game. We had to get at it real quick. For the amount of time we’ve been together, to get a tie, I’ll take it.”

What helped the Hawks was the solid play of senior goalkeeper Carly Tynan.

“Carly is a four-year starter,” Walker said. “She knows the game back there. She has one returning defender with her. We’re learning the defense and figuring out everyone’s quirks. Having Carly back there is golden. They were more physical than us. We try to do a little more finesse and stay away from the physicality, especially at the first game out of the gate.”

The Hawks got the first opportunity to score when Marissa Lopez got a shot from the left side and hit the ball over the net.

In the 10th minute, Madera’s Mariah Zapata set up for a free kick from about 30 yards out. Her shot was tipped out of bounds. The ensuing corner kick was cleared out by Lauren Parks.

The Coyotes kept possession and Jazzel Ruiz had a point blank shot on goal blocked by Tynan coming out to defend. Tynan also made a save on a header and then came out on a breakaway with her third save in a four minute span.

Capitalizing on Tynan’s last save, the Hawks got on the scoreboard. Lopez got the ball on the left side and sent the ball to the middle in the air. Garibay came in and knocked the ball in with a jump kick past the Madera keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Both teams had a chance on goal in the final half of the first half.

Madera had opportunities in the beginning of the second half. Ruiz had a shot on goal stopped by Tynan. Sheyla Posos had a prime opportunity and beat Tynan on goal. However, her shot bounced off the post.

Madera kept possession and Jazmin Pinon controlled the ball. She sent the ball across the face of the goal and Lugo-Sulca was wide open and shot by Tynan for the game-tying goal.

In the 19th minute, off a Zapata corner, Evagelina Garcia’s header went over the goal. Four minutes later, a Liberty defender missed the ball in front of their goal. Ruiz was there, but her shot went over the goal.

Garibay had a chance at a second goal, but her 25-yard fee kick went over the net.

Pinon was open on the left with about seven minutes left in the match, but her shot was tipped out of bounds.

Liberty had the best chances to get the game-winning goal in the final two minutes.

Makenna Weldon tried for the game-winner with a 35-yard free kick on goal, but it was caught by Breanna Salazar in goal.

The Hawks kept possession and Lopez sent a cross to Kinsey McIntosh in the middle, but her shot went high and the final whistle sounded for the tie.

After Liberty hosts Edison-Fresno on Tuesday at 4 p.m., the Hawks play at McLane on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Coyotes continued play Monday at Clovis East and then hosts Clovis at 5 p.m. Thursday.


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