The Lady Warriors clearly listened to their coaches since their opening pre-season match last week. They were aggressive and composed in their home opener on Friday, Dec. 6, posting a 4-1 win over desert rivals Burroughs High School.
The game, which had to be delayed one day due to Tehachapi's first storm of the season, was played under clear skies with virtually no wind. Coach Tyson Kingsbury said the team was disappointed the game was canceled due to snow.
"That was our kind of weather and we wanted to play in it," he said.
The game started in Burroughs' favor, 1-0, after the Warriors allowed a goal despite having spent most of the half on the attack, but with nothing to show for it. That would be Burroughs' last lead of the game.
Kingsbury said: "Burroughs struck first, but that didn't stop the ladies. We came back with a beautiful header from Rachel Miller off a corner kick from Samantha Pinan."
That goal was followed by goals from Miller and Leandra Cordova. Leilani Moringlane was responsible for the sole score in the second half when she nailed a perfect penalty kick in the left corner of the net following a hand ball penalty called in the box against Burroughs.
The final score was representative of the pressure the Lady Warriors put on their opponent for the entire match.
Miller, out last week with an injury, brought her "A-game" as a midfielder, a new position for her after having spent all of last year as a forward. Her speed and field awareness were on display; as a forward last year, she was constantly saddled with double team defense. Her move to midfield appears calculated to make that tactic useless for future opponents.
Tehachapi had the speed advantage in this game and it allowed for multiple shots on goal for the Warriors. Passing was crisp and calculated. This young team played with the confidence of a much more experienced squad.
The Warriors had 3 corners (all masterpieces by Samantha Pinan) and 19 shots on goal. Kingsbury was excited by the effort.
"The ladies played just like they have been in practice. Tonight they came together as a team and brought the victory home," he said. "We were super proud of the ladies tonight."
The Warriors play powerhouse Paraclete on Monday, Dec. 10 at home, followed by a Tuesday match-up against Independence in their league opener in Bakersfield. On Dec. 14 to 15, the Warriors travel to the Kern County Soccer Park in Bakersfield for the Garces Invitational.