Stallions’ second half effort not enough
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Marlene Mejia battles with a Bullard defender during Thursday’s 2-1 home loss.
The Madera South Stallions girls soccer team scored a late goal against Bullard-Fresno, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 2-1 home loss.
The Stallions’ lone goal came in the second half as the home team turned up the intensity in the final stages, hoping to climb out of the deficit Thursday evening
Madera South head coach Ramon Delgadillo said he was pleased with the second half effort from the Stallions, who tried to erase a 2-0 Knights’ lead.
“We started really slow,” Delgadillo said. “We had opportunities in the end, at least three times that we could have scored. I’m very happy with the intensity that we presented in the second half.”
Bullard opened the scoring in the first half with a goal from Tayler Breshears, who was assisted by Madison Llanez.
“On the first goal, our defenders were just flat-footed,” Delgadillo said. “It wouldn’t have been a goal if they stepped up and blocked the goal.”
The Knights took a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute when Millie Perez dribbled past the Stallions’ defenders and took a shot which traveled across the face of goal before ending up on the foot of Ariana Miranda, who poked the ball into the back of the net.
“I was getting mad on the second goal because the striker pulled my defender down and the ball rolled in,” Delgadillo said.
Senior Deanna Alvarez tried to respond with a long distance strike for the Stallions moments later. But her shot from the right wing ended up wide of the goal. Madera South sophomore Aliah Avila followed up with another opportunity in the 59th minute, taking a shot in the box which was easily saved by the goalkeeper. Avila tried to redeem herself a few minutes later. However, her strike from outside the box missed the target.
Another chance went to waste in the 64th minute when Andrea Vasquez took a close-range shot that was blocked by a Bullard defender in front of the goal.
The Stallions breakthrough came in the 71st minute when Avila out-hustled a few Bullard defenders to the ball and dribbled into the box before taking a shot which splashed into the back of the net.
Madera South junior Brianna Maciel attempted a cross from the right wing in the final minutes and found Avila in the box. Avila, who tried to control the ball with her chest, was unable to get a shot on goal as the defense recovered quickly. As the Stallions pressed for one more chance in stoppage time, the Bullard defenders held their ground to spoil the comeback effort.
“We tried to spread them out in the last 25 minutes,” Delgadillo said. “That’s how we started getting opportunities, about three or four opportunities that we could have scored. Hopefully we could keep up the same level of speed and we can perform a lot better against the rest of the CMAC.