Liberty girls soccer makes early goal stand
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
With the Roosevelt goalkeeper and defender closing in, Liberty’s Marissa Lopez shoots the ball into an empty net for the lone goal of Saturday’s match with the Rough Riders.
FRESNO — The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team scored a goal in the second minute in their match against the Roosevelt Rough riders in the NSL vs. NYL Showdown at McLane Stadium and made it stand for the next 78 minutes.
Marissa Lopez scored in the second minute, but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize on their many chances in Saturday’s 1-0 to give the North Sequoia League a win over the North Yosemite League on Saturday.
“It’s a good win,” head coach Erick Walker said. “We didn’t get to play earlier in the week. Having this showdown was a good thing for everyone to see what the other teams have and to make a run for league.”
The combination of Kinsey McIntosh, Danielle Hess and Marissa Lopez made things difficult for the Roosevelt goalkeeper, but the Hawks only got the one goal early in the match.
“I was hoping to try to set the tone early with our play,” Walker said. “We missed some opportunities in the first half. If we get those goals, it’s a totally different game and we’re not stressing at the end.”
In the second minute, Hess got the ball on the right and got by a defender to make a run to goal. Her shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. While the goalkeeper went to the ground for the block, Lopez settled the ball and shot into the open net for the only goal of the match.
In the 13th minute, Roosevelt got the ball in front ahead of a Liberty defender and went one-on-one with Liberty goalkeeper, Emily Boatwright. Roosevelt shot to the left post, but Boatwright made a diving save to keep the Rough Riders off the scoreboard.
On the counter, Hess made a run down the right side and her shot on goal was stopped. Liberty kept the pressure on Roosevelt. Hess got another breakaway two minutes later and her shot was blocked. Leigha Whaley got the rebound, but her shot was deflected away.
In the 17th minute, Roosevelt took a 28-yard free kick and sent it over the wall of Liberty defenders, but Boatwright was behind them to make the catch.
Two minutes later, Hess got the ball on the right and sent a cross for Whaley. Her header was blocked and Kennidi Anderson’s rebound shot was caught.
It took 12 minutes before another chance. Off a through ball by a Roosevelt defender, Ashley Torres’ ball on the left side was caught.
Liberty had another chance when Devinne Moncada sent a 40-yard free kick across goal. Torres got to the ball, but her shot went wide left.
Roosevelt had two chances early in the second half. Roosevelt sent a corner kick on goal and kept the ball in front. Their shot was blocked over the crossbar by Boatwright. On the ensuing corner kick, Moncada made a block on a shot and the ball was cleared out. In the eighth minute, Roosevelt got a breakaway, but Jenna Rodriguez made the challenge from behind to thwart the attempt.
Boatwright kept the Rough Riders off the scoreboard with a catch on a close shot in the 15th minute.
Liberty had a good chance in the 27th minute when Hess took the ball to the end line on the right. She sent a cross that was just too far for Anderson or Torres to get a touch on it.