San Gabriel High School (SGHS) girls varsity team charged carefully, finishing off a tight game with a 1-0 loss. The Lancers’s kick-off matched SG’s pace when the game started. Even though the audience had numerous Lancers families scattered around, the Matadors showed determination and spirit through their strong teamwork.
During the first half of the game, both sides were cautious and aggressive with their plays until one of the Bell Gardens players scored an offside goal. The misleading goal not only confused the audience, but the varsity girls playing as well. As the commotion died down, no goals were scored, but a tight call from the Lancers woke up the Matadors. At this point, Bell Gardens snatched the ball away from San Gabriel’s midfielders and charged straight to goalkeeper Alondra Lopez. Luckily for the Matadors, Bell Gardens accidentally launched the ball up against the crossbar, relieving some of the tension in the audience.
“[The person that scored the goal] was offsides,” girls varsity soccer coach Jessica Correll said. “So even the shot went in, it is considered off sides because they blew the whistle. So she was already behind the line.” As the game became more aggressive and tenser, the halftime whistle blew.
During halftime, Correll reflected on the mistakes made during the first half of the game and discussed tactics for the second half. The Matador girls returned to the game with strong perseverance and motivation. When the second half began, however, SG was struggling to keep up with the Lancers as they scored from a free kick goal that made the girls lose their coordination. Nevertheless, after much cheering from family and friends, the Matadors were ready to fight until the very end. Multiple corner kicks from SG got both headed and kicked out of the field by the Lancers as the Matador girls strived to tie the game.
Facing the last corner kick coming from Bell Gardens, San Gabriel gave it their all to block every opportunity the Lancers had to score. The Matadors took a heartbreaking loss of 1-0 despite successfully blocking the corner kick.
“I’m not disappointed in our team. I think we did a really good job against [BGHS]. Technically, I think it was a tied game even though they scored a goal because that free kick never should’ve happened,” senior Janelle Cabrera said.
With the experience of this second league game SGHS has been through, the team unanimously agrees that they have improved this year compared to their previous league games.
Correll recalled that last year, girls varsity had a difficult time defeating strong opponents such as Schurr High School and Bell Gardens High School.
“I know last year against Schurr, [we lost] 8-0 and 4-0, but this year we lost 2-0. And against Bell Gardens, we lost last year 4-0 and 2-0, [but] this year we lost 1-0,” Correll said.” “The scores are starting to improve, but we still need to finish on our offensive end in order to win games.”
There were obstacles that girls varsity soccer team needed to overcome, such as communication and efficiently working as a team to score goals, but overall, as Matadors, they have shown that improvements can be seen through dedication, commitment and, perseverance over time.