Hawks drop non-conference match on Senior Night
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team held an early-season Senior night last week before its match against McLane. From left are Danielle Hess, Gianna Farinelli, Jianna Montemayor, Brittney Hess, Riley Wogulis, Jenna Rodriguez and Skylar Hartley.
The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team celebrated their seven seniors at home against McLane, but couldn’t come out on top in the end in a 4-0 defeat.
Liberty battled from the first whistle on, but couldn’t find the right ingredients to pull off a comeback attempt.
The Hawks conceded two goals in the first and another two in the second.
“We tried to get the girls up and let them know we aren’t out of this game yet. A 2-0 score is that death score where you get one goal and you are back into the game and we really tried to emphasize that,” Liberty head coach Eric Walker said on his halftime talk. “We just told them they needed to step their game up and if they are going to score goals, we are going to make them earn it and not just kind of give it to them.”
The Hawks did what they could Tuesday night, but the visitors from McLane were ready and willing to engage in a dogfight on the pitch.
Although the Hawks were unable to get on the scoresheet, freshman Leigha Whaley was pulling strings in the midfield, looking to set up her teammates. Marissa Lopez, as usual, caused havoc down the right flank in the second half nearly pulling a goal back.
Lopez utilized her strength and quickness, not only to bully her opponents, but skip past them as they stepped into the challenge. Despite coming up short on the scoresheet, without Lopez, the Hawks would have had a tough time progressing the ball into the opponent final third.
The season is still early, but Walker is expecting some improvements down the road that are key to the Hawks getting back into the win column.
“We have been training for about a month now and trying to get everyone on the same page. We have girls missing for various reasons and it’s just like quicksand where one thing after another, after another just brings us down,” Walker said. “We got to start getting quality touches and playing together.”
The Hawks might have a large team, but coming together to become a cohesive unit is another thing entirely.
“We have 27 girls, but we have 27 individuals. We are not at a team level yet,” Walker said. “Obviously we are at a certain point, but when we step onto that field with the 11 we’re still trying to figure everyone out.”