Sports

Lady Highlanders beat Raiders, advance to CIF

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

In a back and forth battle between the Lady Raiders and Lady Highlanders, it was the Highlanders girls’ soccer team who came out victorious, winning 3-2.Print_LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0934_

Throughout the game both teams carried momentum, but the Highlanders offensive firepower became too much for the Raider defense.

“We don’t win many 1-0’s, it’s often like this,” head coach Matt Sanger said.

“Welcome to reality, we have a good team, but you know what, today the girls didn’t play, defense they weren’t flawless, they weren’t covering, they were slow, so they weren’t ready, mentally they weren’t ready,” head coach Jorge Montalvo said.

The Raiders evened the score at two when Tatsiana Loscutoff capitalized on a penalty kick.

The Highlanders quickly countered, scoring on a header from Jocelyn Mosqueda.

With time working against the Raiders, they created one final chance.

Highlander goalkeeper Katelyn Phinney, was there to salvage the victory for her Highlanders and secure the La Habra cleat for another year.

The Raiders got on the board first, with a goal from Ashley Bordy.

With Bordy dribbling towards the Highlander goal, she chipped a shot high over Phinney’s head and into the goal.

Sonora scoring early, helped us wake up, and realize we have a game to play, and I’m proud of them, they worked hard,” Sanger said.

While the Raiders have been successful in multiple close games this season playing defensive, Raiders plan backfired as Darriell Franklin nearly took on the defense on her own.LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0699_

“They just stayed watching, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do, and that’s how they capitalized. We can score goal, but if we keep giving mistakes away, it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to matter,” Montalvo said.

She was taking players on, she does that a lot, but when it’s on, she’s deadly,” Sanger said, “it wasn’t just beating one player, she’d beat three, four, five players.”

Franklin swiftly countered with an equalizer before halftime, and followed that with her second in the 47th minute.

With momentum fully at the hands of the Highlanders, Franklin nearly dished off an assist to Chloe Cooksey, however the goal was waived off for offsides with Sara Weiland impeding the keeper.

It could have been four, five, six goals just on chances she created,” Sanger said.

The offsides call ended up being the shift in momentum, with the Raiders getting their second goal minutes after the offsides call.

The resilience of the Highlanders however brought them back as they secured a berth into CIF with the third spot in Freeway League.

“I was proud of them to come back, and then even after we got the pk scored against us, we were able to come back and get the win and not let it go to overtimeLHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0518_

There were a few storylines heading into the game. The ultimate prize for the two teams was third place, with the teams separated by only a half game.The two teams were in pursuit of city supremacy and this was the second matchup between two sisters, in Sonora forward Sarah and La Habra keeper Katelyn Phinney.

The Highlanders advance on to CIF where they will travel to Mira Costa Thursday February 19.

“I look forward to it, I feel like we play better with better competition, so I’m excited for it,” Franklin said.

“We need to be on our toes, physically. Last year and the goal that was scored today, I wasn’t on my toes. All those goals, I was flat footed, that’s what I want to change for CIF,” Phinney said.

The Highlanders have been able to experiment with moving Weiland from the back line to the forward position. They intend to use her as a forward which will put the pressure on their young defensive line.

“A lot of teams are going to overlook us, because our record isn’t the best, but we are dangerous,” Sanger said, “even though we haven’t beaten the teams that we wanted too, we can play with them.”

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