Hawks’ second half goals leads to win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Leigha Whaley works to clear the ball out in front of the Liberty goal inthe first half of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Sunnyside. Whaley scored Liberty’s second goal of the game off a rebound from a shot by Marissa Lopez.
After recording a 3-0 victory the night before over Hoover-Fresno, the Liberty Hawks girls soccer team scored a pair of second half goals for a 2-1 victory over the Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats 24 hours later at Liberty.
The two teams played a scoreless first half on a chilly Wednesday evening. Then, Marissa Lopez opened the scoring in the 10th minute of the second half and helped set up the second goal five minutes later.
The goalkeeping of Emily Boatwright kept the Wildcats out of the back of the net until seven minutes were left in the match to preserve the victory.
“We just had to start playing better,” head coach Erick Walker said. “We’re still trying to figure things out with our players. We’re trying to get everyone coordinated with our runs. We have 22 girls out here and are getting them on the same page. It’s going to take some time. We are also trying to get back from the Thanksgiving break.”
Both teams battled in the midfield for most of the first half with both teams getting a couple of chances at goal, but none found the net.
In the 10th minute of the second half, the match was stopped with a Liberty possession because of a Sunnyside injury. When the ball was put in play on the left side, near the end line, Chelsea Guevara lofted a ball to the front of the goal. Lopez jumped in and headed the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net for the goal.
“Marissa has been injured since April,” Walker said. “She didn’t do too much preseason stuff. She got cleared and is making a statement the last two games.”
In the 15th minute, Lopez got the ball in front and dribbled by a defender. She cut back away from another defender and shot on goal. The ball was blocked by the keeper and the ball rolled behind her. Liberty’s Leigha Whaley came on on the back side and knocked the ball inside the right post for the 2-0 lead.
Sunnyside made the match more interesting with a goal in the 33rd minute when a long shot on goal bounced over Boatwright’s head and found the back of the net.