The Lady Warriors completed a grueling five-game stretch on Saturday with a dramatic win over Rosamond High School to capture third place in the Garces Invitational.
The 1-0 win was a welcome reversal of the loss the Warriors sustained at the hands of RHS a few weeks ago in a 4-0 rout.
"The ladies knew RHS was tough, but they wanted revenge," Coach Tyson Kingsbury said. "The Warriors struck first with a shot from Rachel Miller to the far post. Captain Olivia Richmond and standout performer Soleil McCaleb held strong. Goal keeper Bethany Stainfield ended the tournament with two shutouts and some amazing saves. We were very proud of the ladies."
This game was preceded by a hard-fought 4-1 loss to Morro Bay in round two of the tournament on Saturday morning. A goal by Miller was the team's only score. Kingsbury was particularly proud of the play of forward Maya Farias, saying she "was all over the field fighting aggressively."
On Friday, the Warriors played Cesar Chavez High School in the opening round of the tournament. Samantha Pinan scored the winning goal on a direct kick to the top post. The Warriors' defense demonstrated the toughness that appears to be their team trademark. The win was sealed by an audacious attack by senior goalkeeper and two-year starter Stainfield when the forward for CCHS charged the goal in a dramatic one-on-one breakaway with only 30 seconds left on the clock. Stainfield charged out of goal and collided with the oncoming ball to seal a 1-0 win.
The week of competition started out with another defensive struggle against Paraclete High in Tehachapi on Monday, Dec. 10, in a game that almost wasn't played due to a foggy soup that engulfed the field.
"The fog was so thick that when the ball was on the other side of the field we had no idea what was going on. That was how Paraclete scored their only goal," Kingsbury said. The players couldn't even see the ball.
Although the team lost 1-0, the Warriors "...never gave up and stayed strong the rest of the game. Stainfield was on fire tonight and had some amazing saves. The defense was strong throughout the night," the coach said. The defense was busy; PHS had 16 shots on goal and 7 corners.
In a strange scheduling departure, the Warriors played their first league game the following night against Independence High in Bakersfield. Independence is the class of the league, having gone undefeated last year. Although the Warriors went down 3-0 at half, the final score was 4-2, after a powerful surge by the Warriors in the second half.
"We never let our guard down and fought all the way to the end. Our first goal was scored by Farias on an assist from Leilani Moringlane. Freshman Lillian Ledezma scored on a PK with a perfect shot in the upper left corner. I was very proud of the ladies. They played hard and never let up," Kingsbury said.
The Warriors are showing improvement every time they take the field. They will now hit the books for finals and await their next challenge: a three-day tournament over Christmas break in Southern California. They resume with a solid schedule of league play in January.