One goal not enough on Senior Night
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Natalia Mata battles with an Edison defender during Thursday’s 3-1 loss.
A memorable strike off the foot of Natalia Mata may have taken the crowd’s breath away late in the second half at Memorial Stadium, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a slow first half as they lost their second game of the County/Metro Athletic Conference season 3-1.
“It was kind of a weird Senior Night. It was kind of emotional and I feel like every time, it’s just not that good of a performance,” Cameron Hill, Madera Coyotes girls soccer head coach said. “A lot of stuff going on before the game.”
The Coyotes came out swinging in their CMAC opener against the Madera South Stallions, but on Thursday, the Coyotes saw the fight come to them.
Madera dealt with the Edison pressure throughout the match and, at times, launched themselves forward grabbing a goal late but nearly grabbing a few before the night’s end.
For Hill, it wasn’t a performance he wanted to see, especially against a strong opponent in Edison. Hill saw some things that the girls can build off going forward and he was thankful for his senior class and all that they’ve brought to the program.
“It has been a really good group and they’ve done a lot for the program,” Hill said.
Despite Mata taking the plaudits for her audacious effort, Madera goalkeeper Arianna Ornelas put in a strong shift between the sticks with multiple saves in the second half, including in the 50th minute where the senior faced a shot from 20 yards out.
The ball flew through the air, forcing Ornelas to punch the ball high and over the bar.
She followed that up with another save, but at point-blank range. Edison was able to work into the Madera final third before the Tiger forward pulled away inside the penalty area, unleashing a shot that Ornelas punched out of danger.
Offensively, chances were few and far between for the Coyotes, but had a glimpse of cutting the deficit in the 25th minute behind Adriana Dana, who nearly connected with forward Adela Alvarez. Alvarez made the run through the center of the Edison final third and into the penalty area where Dana sent in a low cross from the right wing.
Alvarez was unable to reach the ball as the Tigers defense stood firm.
Madera’s best chance of the day came in the 59th minute as Dana played a ball into space just across the halfway line before Mata picked up the ball. She dribbled over 30 yards down the field through multiple Tiger defenders before cutting inside the final third.
The winger picked up her head and sent a curling shot over the goalkeeper from over 20 yards out in the top corner. A goal that players and fans alike are lucky to see.
“It was a special moment. She used to play forward for us but we kind of moved her to the back because we needed an outside back and that was her natural position,” Hill said. “It was a nice goal, it was a banger.”
Despite the goal, Madera continued to fight but wound up unsuccessful as a late Edison goal put the match out of reach 3-1.