Stallions overcome slow start to beat SJM
Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Brianna Maciel skillfully keeps possession of the ball during a 2-0 victory Thursday of San Joaquin Memorial.
The Madera South girls soccer team overcame a slow start to win, 2-0, against San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno
The Stallions, who struggled to get opportunities in the first half while also limiting the Panthers’ chances, opened the scoring after the break Thursday evening.
Brianna Maciel first scored for the Stallions in the 48th minute. Aliah Avila then followed up with a second goal three minutes later, converting a counter-attack opportunity.
“We motivated our kids to go back over there and switch the ball, try to do combinations and try to attack,” Madera South head coach Ramon Delgadillo said about his team’s second half effort. “They started doing that and they came up with a goal. After that, we just continued to do the same thing until we scored the second goal.”
Panthers almost had their first goal five minutes after the Stallions scored. But the Stallions defenders hustled back to make a block at the goalline, saving the keeper who had come out of the goal to try to block the strike. As San Joaquin Memorial desperately searched for a goal in the final minutes, the Stallions cleared every attempt and preserved the clean sheet.
Delgadillo was especially impressed with his team’s ability to read each other, which paid dividends on the counterattacks.
“We’ve been working on that since the beginning of the seasons and they’re barely catching on to the style we want to play,” he said.
With Thursday’s game unfolding on another sweltering day in the Valley, it was key for the Stallions to manage the game wisely.
“We just keep telling them to stay hydrated and we kept rotating different players in different positions when we saw them fatigued,” Delgadillo said.
The head coach is also ecstatic about the performance of Avila, who’s having a stellar sophomore season.
“Right now for me, she’s one of the top ones in our league as a striker, as a midfielder, anywhere,” Delgadillo said. “As the season goes by, she’s getting better and better.”