By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal
La Habra soccer appears to be on the rise as the Raiders and Highlanders met in a tightly contested battle. However, Sonora proved too much for the Highlanders winning 2-1 in boys soccer.
“It’s a little scary coming right out of the gates against your cross town rival, I think it took us a little while to settle in,” Sonora Head Cach Corey Witt said.
After both teams were held scoreless in the first half, the Raiders opened it up with two goals.
Frankie Alvarez scored in the 42nd minute, then Erik Estrada scored in the 54th minute.
Witt sighted a little bit of rust and nerves from his team as they settled in, but was overall please by the way his team handled the pressure.
La Habra got in on the action, scoring their only goal in the 50th minute off of a shot by Cesar Coronado.
Coronado and Christian Bribesca’s performances were praised by their coach.
“He’s more than just a role player for us. I think when he’s on, we play much better as a team. Both of those guys, they both play in the middle, they both kind of dictate how well we’re going to do,” La Habra Head Coach Joe Lurker said.
As the Highlanders captains they are looked upon to be the team’s engine.
The Highlanders were able to keep the pressure on the Raiders the entire match, but were unable to come up with an equalizer to extend the game.
“If you add up all the chances for both teams, it could have gone either way,” Lurker said, “it was exciting to watch, at the end I think it should have been a six to seven game.”
The Raider defense held strong despite the strong effort from the Highlanders.
“They wanted to make sure they won, by getting a little scared at the end,” Lurker said.
The Highlanders have been working on improving the team culture and developing more mature players, but they look to be headed in the right direction.
“We started last year and struggled with (the culture change), and this year we’re on the cusp of breaking through. I think this year and the future of La Habra is looking very exciting,” Lurker said.
The Raiders and Highlanders won’t have a chance to rest, Sonora faces Sunny Hills on the road, and La Habra will host Buena Park.