Troy beats Lady Raiders with strong second half
By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
After battling Troy to a scoreless draw at halftime, the Sonora girls soccer team gave up a goal early in the second half and never recovered, falling 2-0 at Troy High, Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Warriors scored goals in the 43rd minute and in stoppage time in the second half and never allowed Sonora any major chances to score.
“We came out slow in the second half and conceded a goal in the first three minutes after we specifically talked about girls not diving in and being strong in the first 10 minutes,” said Alex Bengard, Sonora head coach. “When you go down 1-0 against a good team, that’s tough.”
Overcoming two injuries in the first half, Troy wasted little time in the second half as Caitlin Haugen centered a pass to Rachel Wix right in front of the goal.
Wix tapped it to the right of goalkeeper Cortney Coyle, who played the pass, giving Troy the 1-0 lead.
Troy’s second goal was scored one minute into stoppage time as the Lady Warriors crossed twice and missed a shot, but Morgan Zuker was there to put in the rebound as Coyle had no chance of recovering.
The win was bittersweet for Troy, which lost two forwards to injury in the first half to add to an already sizable list of sidelined players.
In the 13th minute, forward Bella Diaz was racing against Coyle to get to a loose ball. The two collided as Coyle went down to cover up, while Diaz stayed upright.
She had to be helped off the field with a right knee injury.
Later in the half, Coyle stepped in front of another ball as forward Kaycee Hoover was sliding in hopes of tapping in behind the keeper.
As she slid, her cleat got caught in the ground and she was helped off with an ankle injury.
In the second half, play was also delayed by three assessed yellow cards, two to Sonora and one to Troy.
Once again, the Lady Raiders defense turned away pressure throughout the first half as Coyle continued to play aggressive.
“We’ve seemed to be able to do that a lot this year,” Bengard said. “We’re good defensively, we just have trouble scoring goals. I’m not surprised, but we’re leaving empty-handed again.”
For Troy’s first goal, that aggressiveness came back to haunt the keeper, as it left Wix wide open.
Of Sonora’s few chances, a first-half free kick by Kristy Wickham was saved and a close range shot in the second half sailed over the crossbar.
The Lady Raiders will now have to pick up the offense against the toughest portion of its schedule if it wants a shot at the playoffs.
Sonora’s next opportunity to do that will be Tuesday at Sunny Hills.
“We have to pull out some wins if we want to see any action in the postseason,” Bengard said. “Hopefully the Sunny Hills game is better this time and we get the win we deserve and then we battle La Habra and they’re the only ones who really kicked our butts in the first half. It’s going to be a grind, but we’re up for the task.”