Stallions get win, but teams help to build soccer community
For The Madera Tribune
The Madera South Stallions and the Matilda Torres Toros girls soccer teams group up for a photo after their rivalry game Tuesday. Madera South picked up a 5-1 North Yosemite League victory over the Toros.
Despite recording a 5-1 victory over the Matilda Torres Toros, for the Madera South Stallions girls soccer team, it was all about building soccer in Madera.
“We are not trying to hurt each other,” Madera South head coach Ramon Delgadillo said. “We are trying to help each other. Me and Marcos (Gomez, Matilda Torres girls soccer coach) have been working on building a relationship among Madera so we can build up each other and work together.”
“We want to be one soccer community,” Gomez said. “When we play against each other, we’re going to battle. When we’re done, we’re going to love each other.”
Aliah Avila scored two second half goals to, basically, put the game away. Madera South got first half goals from Audrina Garcia and Alysa Gillen.
Matilda Torres scored a goal to open the second half from Nicole Ruiz off a cross from Alanys Medina-Gonzalez.
Then, Avila took over.
“Aliah just took over,” Gomez said. “The players turned around and asked what they can do. They gave it their all.”
“I made some adjustments and moved Aliah to striker,” Delgadillo said. “I told the outside to send it up to Aliah. Aliah scored five minutes later.”
Delilah Jimenez scored late in the game for the Stallions to close out the win.
“We’re still young,” Gomez said. “The girls were a little scared in the first half. They know those players too well and gave them too much respect. When you play scared and intimidated, you make mental mistakes. We came out with more confidence in the second half. Things didn’t fall for us and that’s the way it goes.”
However, in spite of the win, after the game, the teams met at the middle of the field, embraced and took a photo together.
“During the match, everyone was hungry and wanted to win,” Delgadillo said. “At the same time, they didn’t want to hurt each other. It was just a good rivalry to have a good game. At the end, they hugged each other and took a photo together. We just want to have fun and be competitive. We want to prepare ourselves for playoffs.”
The two teams met the night before for a joint team dinner and that showed when the teams respected each other the next evening.
“We had a dinner right before that,” Gomez said. “We took a page from the football team. A lot of these girls see each other around town. I want to make a big soccer community. The teams showed up separate, but left all together.”
“We want to build relationships,” Delgdillo said.
That respect and sportsmanship showed during the match when Medina-Gonzalez and Jocelyn Lopez tangled on the field with Medina-Gonzalez going to the turf. Lopez stopped what she was doing and offered her hand to help Medina-Gonzalez up.
Because of the Toros’ muddy field conditions, the teams will combine to hold a joint Senior Night the next time the two teams meet.
“My girls were okay with it,” Gomez said.