Sports

Lady Highlanders dominate in opener

By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The La Habra girls’ soccer team won its first Freeway league game against Buena Park, 7-0, at home Tuesday afternoon.

LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0934_
“In league every game matters, so we knew we had to play hard,” said La Habra head coach Matt Sanger. “We wanted to start off strong and send a message to our league that we are here to win it.”
The Lady Highlanders (3-6-1, 1-0) took turns scoring and dominated the Coyotes (2-10-1, 0-1) on both offense and defense the whole game.
“We worked on possession and we got to work on some of our set plays,” Sanger said. “It’s not so much this game that we’re looking at, we’ve been preparing for the season to start. In preseason we got to try some things out and we got to test things.”
La Habra took an early lead in the 6th minute with an assist from Taleah Carter to Sarah Wieland who finished the play.
The Highlanders took control of the first half and maintained possession of the ball in Buena Park territory but had trouble finishing their shots.LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0428_
“We have a lot of young players and with young players you have inconsistencies so what we need is our young players to get more experience and to start playing more confidently,” Sanger said.
Late in the first half the Highlanders advanced their lead to 2-0 with help from Alexis Morales. The Highlanders held the lead over Buena Park going into halftime.
La Habra came out fighting in the second half.
“For the second half we went back to our game plan of playing simple, moving the ball quickly, and not getting stuck,” Sanger said. “We tried to play a more simple game and we found spaces and we were able to attack a lot more.” LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0496_
The Highlanders sco quickly with an early goal off a corner kick tapped in by Darriell Franklin to advance the lead to 3-0.
Minutes later, La Habra found another scoring opportunity when the ball got loose in front of Buena Park’s goal. The ball bounced around in front of the goal and the Highlanders tapped it in before the Coyotes could clear it out.
The Highlanders kept pushing the ball forward and Chloey Cooksey scored two consecutive goals from left field to advance their lead to 6-0 over the Coyotes.
In the final minutes of the game, Regina Sanchez added one more point to the scoreboard by tapping in a corner kick from Wieland. LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0920_
“A game like this might look like we played a perfect game when you look at the score but we have a lot of things we have to fix,” Sanger said. “Mostly it’s just little mistakes.”
With their first Freeway league win under their belt, the Highlanders will travel to Fullerton and take on the Indians Wednesday afternoon.
“I think we did a much better job in the second half,” Sanger said. “The biggest thing for us is our intensity. We have to bring a high level of intensity no matter who we play. Any team in this league can be dangerous so we need to make sure that we come prepared.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.