Tag Archive | "Lady Warriors"

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Lady Highlanders find late spark, down Troy to set up city showdown

Posted on 08 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Racquel Manzo drove home the game-tying run with a double in the top of the seventh inning as La Habra went on to defeat Troy 4-2 on the road, Thursday afternoon.

La Habra’s Racquel Manzo drove home the game-tying run with a double in the top of the seventh inning as La Habra went on to defeat Troy 4-2 on the road, Thursday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Going into the final inning of a critical Freeway League game, the La Habra softball team was in danger of suffering the same fate it did in Tuesday’s loss to Sunny Hills.

The Lady Highlanders put up one run in six innings, but stranded seven baserunners as Troy took a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning.

But La Habra wasn’t going to be denied and responded with five hits, plating three runs to steal a 4-2 victory from Troy and vault itself back into a four-team tie for first place in the Freeway League.

The Lady Highlanders will host fellow first-place Sonora on Tuesday afternoon.

“At the last minute, we came together as a team and all of a sudden we just burst like a bomb,” said Racquel Manzo, who drove in the game-tying run with a double. “We just showed what we could do on the field as a team, together.”

With one out and pinch-runner Kira Cauley on first base after a single by Anela Lopez, Manzo brought home Cauley with a line drive double to right-center field to tie the game.

Amanda Akles followed with an RBI-double to the exact same location to score Manzo and give the Lady Highlanders the lead. Nikki Butler plated pinch-runner Tatyana Peko to stretch the lead to two runs.

“They hit the ball where we told them,” said Frank McCarroll, La Habra head coach. “All game long, we wanted them to hit the ball either middle or opposite field, it took them three at-bats, but it finally got done…. We needed a spark, we needed something that will get us back on track. Hopefully this is it.”

Relief pitcher Janelle Rodriguez struck out two of the three batters she faced in the bottom half of the seventh inning to preserve the victory.

The big seventh inning made up for the Lady Highlanders’ inability to score runs early on. In each of the first three innings, La Habra stranded two baserunners.

Troy (14-10, 4-4) didn’t fare much better, stranding seven baserunners in the first three innings before both starting pitchers settled down in the fourth inning.

“We left 10 runners on base against Sunny Hills and we had 12 hits against [Troy] the last time we played them, so we’ve been doing this a lot lately,” McCarroll said. “We haven’t put hits together and we haven’t had productive outs. I don’t think we’ve completely gelled as a team yet, I’m hoping we figure it out before playoffs.”

La Habra (16-10, 5-3) struck first in the fifth inning with a run-scoring single by Hope Moreno, which brought Cauley home from third base.

However, Lady Warriors’ starting pitcher Miranda Trinidad helped her own cause with a solo home run to deep center field. After an error allowed another runner to reach base, McCarroll called on Rodriguez to relieve starter Taylor Pierce after five-and-one-thirds innings.

“We’ve had the tandem going and they’re both on a short leash,” McCarroll said. “Taylor did a decent job, but she started leaving the ball up and when she does that, she’s hittable, whereas Janelle does a good job keeping the ball down. She kept us in the game and gave us a chance.”

A crucial two-out RBI infield single by Troy’s Cori Okada put the Lady Warriors up 2-1.

However, La Habra’s big bats at the top of the order were too much for Trinidad and the Lady Warriors as the Lady Highlanders evened up the season series at 1-1.

“We got our runners in late, thankfully,” Manzo said. “We just played like a team and we feel like we’re progressing with every game. I’m really happy about that.”

The Lady Highlanders will host city rival Sonora with a shot at a possible Freeway League title on the line. Both teams are tied atop the standings with Sunny Hills and Fullerton after the Lady Lancers defeated Fullerton to create the jam, Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, La Habra still has another motivating factor.

“We just want to go in and give it everything we’ve got,” Manzo said. “We’re going to play it for Steve [Aanderud].”

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Sonora battles back, earns season sweep of Troy with late charge

Posted on 01 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Chelsea Purcell provided quick defense and a big bat, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Lady Raiders defeated Troy 9-4 on the road, Thursday.

Sonora’s Chelsea Purcell provided quick defense and a big bat, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Lady Raiders defeated Troy 9-4 on the road, Thursday.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

After allowing a four-run second inning, the Sonora girls softball team wasn’t deterred, taking back the lead in the sixth inning and running away in the seventh for a decisive 9-4 victory over Troy, Thursday afternoon on the road.

With the win, coupled with Fullerton’s defeat of La Habra, the Lady Raiders now find themselves in a three-way tie for the Freeway League lead after a big week. Sonora defeated Sunny Hills on the road, 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon.

On Thursday, it was Chelsea Purcell and Audrey Castro providing the big hits for Sonora.

“Early on in the game, I was really anxious and [Troy pitcher Miranda Trinidad] kept throwing me low and away, so the plan was just to see the ball in all the way,” Purcell said. “My dad says it all the time, see the ball, hit the ball.”

Immediately following Troy’s four-run second inning, Castro brought the Lady Raiders back within one run with a two-run home run to deep right center field.

Despite missing an opportunity with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Sonora’s bench came in to give the Lady Raiders the lead in the sixth inning.

Ashley Diaz hit a double to right center field, driving in Taylor Clark for the game-tying run. However, Diaz injured her right knee sliding into second base and Mena Aguilar-gaxiola, in a pinch-run situation, scored on a pinch-hit single by Emily Hauke to give Sonora a 5-4 lead.

“We’ve had some injuries, we had a new third baseman in today and it’s a testament to the depth that we have,” said Michelle Rodriguez, Sonora head coach. “We hadn’t started our nine until the start of league, so they’ve had experience. I think it’s the hardest thing to do to come off the bench and hit on a moment’s notice, but they came through.”

Purcell gave the Lady Raiders (12-9, 4-2) enough insurance in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run home run to left field. Madison Gimpl scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Christina Garcia before Casanas and the defense closed the door for the win.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Troy (13-9, 3-3) responded with four runs in the second inning. Two runs scored on a sacrifice fly by Brianna Sanchez when a throw to third base went into the Lady Warriors’ dugout.

Two batters later, Ryann Ferguson hit a two-run home run to right-center field on the first pitch she saw from Casanas for a 4-1 lead.

“I felt like if we stayed aggressive [at the plate], which we were early on, we could get some positive things happening,” said Marlon Buttram, Troy head coach. “For whatever reason, we quit being aggressive and there’s not much you can do at that point except live with the results.”

However, after the inning, Rodriguez had a message for her team.

“We know we have to take it from teams, they’re not going to just give it to us,” Rodriguez said. “So after that inning, I told the girls ‘What part of showing up did you not understand?’ They took that one run and slapped us in the face with it, this was a battle and we fought.”

Casanas and the defense responded, allowing just three hits past the second inning. In the fourth inning, with runners on second and third base, Purcell threw home on a ground ball and Gimpl applied the tag to keep the score at 4-3.

Leandra Jew ended the threat by making a running catch in center field as Troy stranded a runner at third base.

Purcell also made a barehanded play to retire Hailey Danko to lead off the third inning, while Jew chased down five fly balls in center field.

“We really wanted to calm the defense and make the outs,” Purcell said of the team’s mindset after the second inning. “I think once we got off track, but we leveled our heads together and really came together as a team. Once we do that, we communicate really well and it’s a huge help.”

Troy will play Buena Park next Tuesday. Buttram believes that if the Lady Warriors defeat Buena Park, the team needs to win at least two of its final three to make it into the playoffs.

The road for Sonora doesn’t get any easier in the near future. The Lady Raiders will face another top team in Fullerton, Tuesday on the road.

“It’s rewarding for the girls to have a week like this,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve always known these girls to have talent, but now they’re showing a lot more composure. This is just a testament to what we did on Tuesday, it shows that we can do it and it shows the caliber of team that we are. This is what we’re going to expect from them, there’s an expectation now, instead of imagining what we could do as we did the last couple years.”

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Lady Raiders start league with key victory over Troy

Posted on 15 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Audrey Castro drives in the go-ahead run with this swing for a single in the sixth inning of Sonora's 4-1 league-opening win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Sonora’s Audrey Castro drives in the go-ahead run with this swing for a single in the sixth inning of Sonora’s 4-1 league-opening win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home. Photos by Jay Seidel, La Habra Journal

by Daniel Hargis
La Habra Journal

In what was a fast-paced game, the Sonora High School softball team used tight defense and efficient offense to pick up a 4-1 victory against the visiting Troy Warriors in their Freeway League opener, Tuesday at Sonora.

Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Raiders (9-7, 1-0) offense came alive to score three runs to defeat the Lady Warriors, the same team that kept them from the CIF playoffs a year ago.

“This is a win we needed to have, especially with the two losses last week (to Savanna and La Serna),” Sonora head coach Michelle Rodriguez said. “Especially with a team like Troy. Troy is a team that always plays hard, and with their speed and pitching it forced us to show up today. We had offense when we needed it, I’m proud of the way we played.”

Senior third baseman Katie Amaral led off the sixth with a base hit before immediately stealing second, creating the looks for a productive inning.

Sonora outfielder Taylor Clark throws a ball back to the infield during the Lady Raiders 3-1 league win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Sonora outfielder Taylor Clark throws a ball back to the infield during the Lady Raiders 3-1 league win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Two batters later, senior first baseman Audrey Castro singled and advanced to second base on the attempted put out at home plate, but Lady Warriors catcher Kristen Randall could not hang on as Amaral scored the game-winning run.

A pop out began to wind the inning down with two outs, but freshman designated hitter Ashley Diaz doubled home Castro to take a 3-1 lead.

Another high pop up to right field was dropped and Diaz, hustling from second base on the two-out fly ball, safely scored for the final run of the afternoon.

“We weren’t worried at all, our offense needed to step up because Sam (Sonora’s pitcher) was doing her job, we knew we’d come back,” Castro said.

Both teams hardly gave up an inch to one another behind strong pitching and fundamental defense from start to finish.

Troy (10-7, 0-1) was held without a base runner once while Sonora endured the same offensive struggles three times.

In the innings in which runs were scored, they came with the help of a fielding error by the defense, or in the case of Sonora’s big sixth inning, the leadoff batter reaching base.

Sonora's Sam Casanas threw a complete game, giving up one run while striking out a pair during the Lady Raiders 3-1 win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Sonora’s Sam Casanas threw a complete game, giving up one run while striking out a pair during the Lady Raiders 3-1 win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Both pitchers forced batters into fly balls and ground balls that were clinically dealt with by the defense, helping Troy get out of a two-out jam in the fourth inning.

Sonora’s defense came away with the most impressive defensive play of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Lady Raiders’ sophomore shortstop Chelsea Purcell caught a line drive and doubled off Lady Warrior Alyssa Polentz at first base to suffocate any chance of a comeback.

“I think everyone wanted to get that first win,” Sonora sophomore pitcher Samantha Casanas said. “I love my defense behind me. It makes my job in the circle a lot easier.”

Casanas finished with a complete game and two strikeouts coupled with one walk on four hits and one earned run. Miranda Trinidad started for Troy, finishing with three strikeouts, zero walks and one earned run in four innings. Jessica Rathmell finished the game with two strikeouts, one walk, and one earned run in two innings.

Offensively, Castro had a team-high three hits and one run. Junior outfielder Taylor Clark, Diaz and Castro scored the other three runs.

Castro also drove in a pair of runs and outfielder Brandi Landino collected an RBI.

“We’re going to take this one game a time, it’s a huge win for us following last year not making CIF,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to go to CIF, get hot and go on a run.”

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Size disadvantage dooms Lady Raiders in first round against Patriot

Posted on 22 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Senior Lauren Nakahara scored nine points in her final game at Sonora High. The Lady Raiders fell to Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, 52-39 at Patriot High, Saturday night.

Senior Lauren Nakahara scored nine points in her final game at Sonora High. The Lady Raiders fell to Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, 52-39 at Patriot High, Saturday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

RIVERSIDE – After earning a spot in the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs as an at-large team, the Sonora girls’ basketball team couldn’t overcome a size disadvantage against Patriot, falling 52-39 in the first round, Saturday night at Patriot High.

The Lady Warriors dominated in the paint on both sides of the ball, blocking shots on the defensive end, while backing in Sonora’s interior defenders and knocking down layups on the offensive end.

“We struggled attacking the zone, at times we did what we wanted,” Barajas said. “We got a little flustered in the beginning and we weren’t really disciplined about setting picks or reading the right gaps. When we did, I thought we got some good looks, but we needed to do that consistently.”

Patriot’s Tamia Hewitt led all scorers with 16 points and did all of her damage in the paint. Sabrina Avery added 12 points for the Lady Warriors.

Defensively, Sonora tried using a full-court press to speed up Patriot’s offense with the hopes that it led to turnovers.

However, when Patriot got the ball across midcourt, it found success by getting the ball into the interior.

“We knew that once they got to half court, their size and strength would be imposing on us,” Barajas said. “We needed to get our double teams a little bit quicker off the block. Once they got inside, there wasn’t much we could do.”

Offensively, Patriot’s size and zone defense prevented the Lady Raiders from attempting to push shots inside.

Instead, Sonora had to settle for outside jumpers, but they weren’t falling early on as Patriot led 29-8 after the first half.

After the Lady Warriors (23-3) pushed the lead to its highest point at 34-11, the Lady Raiders found some success in the fourth quarter.

Megan Matsumoto hit two 3-pointers, while Andrea Agramon and Lauren Nakahara added five points each in the final quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

“I thought we gave great effort today, but we really needed to turn them over a bit more,” Barajas said.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 10 points, while Matsumoto and Nakahara added nine points each.

In addition to her point total, Hewitt added 10 rebounds, while Avery secured nine rebounds for Patriot.

The loss ends Sonora’s season at 11-16 overall, but the playoff experience should provide a benefit for the future.

“This is extremely valuable, we were so excited for all these opportunities because it sort of gets the fear out,” Barajas said. “They know what to expect in the coming years, they know how to prepare, they know what the top teams are going to look like. Our future looks bright and we know that the kids are going to put in the work to get to the next level.”

Barajas will be losing two seniors to graduation, one being starting point guard Nakahara, who had been a varsity starter for three years.

“Both are really great kids,” Barajas said. “Lauren has been a major part of our success. This year was obviously tough…but she’s a tough kid, she’s never missed a practice, she’s there every day working hard. I’m so proud of her and I know she’s going to have a bright future with whatever she does because she’s such a great kid and has a great work ethic.”

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Playoff hopes take a hit after Lady Highlanders fall to Troy

Posted on 06 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Samiya Washington fights off Troy midfielder Taylor Jones during the first half of La Habra's 3-0 loss to Troy at home, Thursday afternoon.

La Habra’s Samiya Washington fights off Troy midfielder Taylor Jones during the first half of La Habra’s 3-0 loss to Troy at home, Thursday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

For the La Habra girls’ soccer team, hopes of reaching the postseason took a major blow after a 3-0 loss to Troy, Thursday afternoon at La Habra High.

With the loss, the Lady Highlanders will need to beat Sonora on Tuesday next week in order to stay in contention for a birth in the CIF playoffs.

The Lady Highlanders looked stronger and more focused against Troy (14-4-3, 7-1-0) in comparison to their prior 5-0 loss to the Lady Warriors.

Though possession was even, the Lady Warriors capitalized on their counterattacks and overcame a resilient Lady Highlanders squad. The Lady Warriors scored their first two goals before the 30 minute mark on isolation plays from their strikers.

La Habra (9-9-2, 3-5-0) struggled to stop the Lady Warriors’ star players, but played sound fundamental soccer for most of the game.

“It was more isolated incidents that we have to work on and situations we have to fix as opposed to an entire team not showing up to play properly,” said Matt Sanger, La Habra head coach. “That’s what we faced last time.”

The Lady Highlanders were led by Sam Sipes who took advantage of the wet conditions to dominate the midfield.

“It’s fun, you get to slide a lot,” she said, covered in mud. “I just made sure I put in 110% and (kept) fighting.”

“Sam for me was the player of the game, she was all over the place,” Sanger said. “Defensively she was working her butt off, winning everything in the air. She’s getting down sliding to win balls. Offensively, every time she won the ball she was able to look up and find a striker and create stuff.”

Sipes strong play lasted until she cramped up on the sideline with 10 minutes left.

“What I just saw from Sam was an unbelievable amount of work and she cramped up because of how much work she put into it,” Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders are fortunate not to lose their top midfielder for significant time, however they did lose Ashley Bello to what could be a serious ankle injury. Bello missed the entire second half with the injury and was not seen on the bench.

With a crucial game against Sonora slated for next Tuesday, the Lady Highlanders will need to dig deep to get revenge on Sonora’s home field.

La Habra welcomed Sara Weiland back, who played her first game since league began, on Tuesday against Sunny Hills, but, in addition to Bello, is already without Darriell Franklin who missed her fourth consecutive game.

The Lady Highlanders will focus their attention on the offensive end to take a lead early.

“It’s not so much a physical tactical thing, it is more of a mental thing,” Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders have needed to focus on defense against Sunny Hills and Troy, the top teams in the league. Sanger believes his Lady Highlanders are capable of controlling possession and attacking the Lady Raiders.

“They are waiting for the perfect shot to come up, but the perfect shot doesn’t come up,” Sanger said.

With this in mind the Lady Highlanders can expect to increase defensive pressure and be opportunistic.

“The big thing is just focusing on taking opportunities, taking shots when you have it, not waiting for the perfect one, just taking a good one,” Sanger said, “We want to stay in their half as much as possible, then we also need to realize that we can shoot the ball from 25 and 30 yards.”

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Lady Highlanders struggle to keep up with Troy’s speed

Posted on 06 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Kayla Peko scored a goal in the third quarter, but La Habra fell to Troy on the road 13-6, Thursday afternoon.

Kayla Peko scored a goal in the third quarter, but La Habra fell to Troy on the road 13-6, Thursday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

For the first 10 minutes of its second matchup with Troy, the La Habra girls’ water polo team was in good shape and running its defense effectively.

However, midway through the second quarter, the Lady Highlanders started getting into foul trouble, which forced Head Coach Courtney Robertson to put in reserves to save her starters from being ejected.

Because of the switches, Troy got multiple exclusions and took advantage of those 6-on-5 situations, leading to a 13-6 win over the Lady Highlanders, Thursday afternoon at Troy.

“They were doing really well in the defense that I was hoping to see,” said Courtney Robertson, La Habra head coach. “They were pushing really hard with the 6-on-5 defense. We did a hard crash and light press on the outside, which seemed to work because they like to work in to Minna [Mattis, set player]. Then we got a couple ejections and I had to take two starters out due to the fact that they had two ejections in the second quarter. That left us a little vulnerable.”

Of the Lady Warriors 13 goals, five were scored with a player-advantage.

After Gabbi Garcia scored her second goal to pull La Habra within one in the second quarter, Troy pulled away by scoring four goals within the final 2:28 of the first half to turn a 3-2 lead into a 7-3 halftime score.

Senior Ema Armstrong scored the final two of those four goals, the last of which came on a counterattack.

The Lady Warriors (13-9, 8-0) continued to gain separation in the third quarter using counterattacks and speed.

Marissa Vaccher stole an opening pass and drove it the other way for a goal 15 seconds into the second half.

Minna Mattis added two goals in the third quarter from the two-meter position. Mattis was effective yet again for Troy, leading the Lady Warriors with six goals.

Kayla Peko put in the lone goal for La Habra (14-8, 6-2) in the quarter as the Lady Highlanders went into the final frame down 11-4.

Raney Remme and Maria del mar Flores Pompa added a goal each in the fourth quarter.

“Compared to the last time we played them, our passing was better, we were able to move the ball a little more and we took more inside shots today, which was good,” Robertson said. “I would have liked a little more driving on the opposite side, but it’s just one of the things to work on. Offensively, we played a decent game, but we took too many shots right at the goalie. We needed to hit corners, not stomachs.”

The Lady Highlanders remain in second place in league play with games against Sonora and Buena Park coming up in the final week of league play.

Robertson is hoping to regain some momentum before the playoffs.

“With this result, it’s always tough to lose, but our next game is Sonora, so we’re going to try and push it again and regain some confidence so that when we go against Buena Park we can go in with a win on our back and work hard,” Robertson said. “We just want to be prepared, we’re going to keep working our defense and try to improve on offense, that’s all we can do is be prepared.

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Troy’s power too much for Lady Raiders at home

Posted on 30 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

In its Freeway League opener, the Sonora girls’ soccer team played a near flawless defensive game against Troy, only allowing a goal within the final minute of the second overtime period in a 1-0 loss.

Unfortunately, the Lady Raiders couldn’t replicate that same performance the second time around, falling to Troy 4-0 in wet and muddy conditions, Thursday afternoon at Sonora High.

The Lady Warriors took control early, putting in two goals in the 11th and 15th minutes as the forwards constantly applied pressure.

“We knew it was going to be a battle and we told the girls that if they didn’t come out with energy, we’d fall behind and that’s what happened,” said Alex Bengard, Sonora head coach. “In the second half, we stepped up our intensity level and the game changed a little bit, but it was too little too late.”

Senior forward Aliyah Jones put in Troy’s first goal in the 11th minute. An attempt by Amalia Serna to clear a corner kick bounced right to Jones, who tapped it in to the near side.

Four minutes later, midfielder Alexis Fuerte put a ball up top for Kaycee Hoover, who lofted a shot over goalkeeper Johanna Hultberg for a 2-0 lead.

Midfielder Caitlin Haugen added a goal for Troy (12-4-3, 5-1-0) just before halftime on a header to the near side off a corner kick.

The Lady Raiders strung together good offensive possessions at times, most of which involved Serna down the right side.

Sonora’s best attempt in the first half sailed out of bounds when Serna tried to cross from the corner.

The Lady Raiders’ fortunes were a little better in the second half. In the 43rd minute, Yesenia Navarro attempted a shot that swung wide off a cross from Serna.

Anna Saucedo then put Sonora’s first shot on goal in the 64th minute, but it was easily hauled in by Troy goalkeeper Hailey McKinley.

Fuerte added Troy’s fourth goal in the 73rd minute when her shot bounced off the cross bar and barely crossed the goal line.

The Lady Raiders (6-9-5, 2-3-1) will attempt to turn things around when they host Fullerton next Tuesday at 3 p.m.

“The game is over and we have to move on, what’s done is done,” Bengard said. “We have Fullerton at home, which is nice. We got a lot of our road games out of the way early, so we’ll get them at home and hopefully we can nick them..”

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Lady Highlanders lose battle for early league lead

Posted on 21 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Cheyenne Trigueros attempts a shot on goal during the Lady Highlanders' 12-6 loss to Troy at home, Tuesday afternoon.

La Habra’s Cheyenne Trigueros attempts a shot on goal during the Lady Highlanders’ 12-6 loss to Troy at home, Tuesday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

With an early crack at league supremacy on the line, the La Habra girls’ water polo team fell short against Troy, tallying its first league loss 12-6, at home Tuesday afternoon.

Both teams came into the contest ranked in Division 4, with Troy taking the No. 3 spot and La Habra sitting at No. 5.

With the game still in striking distance for La Habra in the third quarter, the Lady Warriors (6-6, 3-0) seized momentum with a three-goal swing to pad their lead at 10-4.

“They did more of a front defense for us, but we knew that was coming, so I asked for a lot of driving,” said Courtney Robertson, La Habra head coach. “We did that in the first quarter and a little in the second quarter, but then it kind of disappeared for the second half. It just happened that our shots weren’t coming off, we kept driving it into set.”

Troy’s Marissa Vaccher and set player Minna Mattis caused problems for La Habra by converting four goals each.

Mattis fought hard at the two-meter spot for goals against both Raney Remme and Gabbi Garcia.

“Defensively, I thought we played pretty well, but Minna is just Minna,” Robertson said. “Every team has one girl that you try to go after and I thought we played pretty well against her. They did what I asked, we wanted to drop and we wanted to press the wings far to the outside. Troy did what they had to do to beat us, which was put in outside shots and get in set shots.”

After taking a 3-1 lead into the second quarter, Mattis led the Lady Warriors by scoring all three goals from set as Troy took a 6-2 lead at halftime.

The Lady Warriors also took advantage of La Habra fouls, scoring three goals with a player advantage.

“What killed us was the 6-on-5s,” Robertson said. “They executed when they had the opportunities and we didn’t.”

Garcia scored one of her two goals in the first quarter. She also led the team with three assists and a pair of steals.

At the start of the third quarter, the Lady Highlanders (10-7, 2-1) showed signs of a comeback by being aggressive and scoring two goals within the first two minutes.

La Habra's Julia Rivera defends Troy's Shelby Maldonado during the Lady Highlanders' 12-6 loss at home, Tuesday afternoon.

La Habra’s Julia Rivera defends Troy’s Shelby Maldonado during the Lady Highlanders’ 12-6 loss at home, Tuesday afternoon.

Remme got on the board by driving toward the cage and slipping a shot underneath the right arm of Troy goalkeeper Jessica Harris.

Garcia then scored when her shot bounced off Harris’ hands and into the cage to cut the deficit to three goals.

“I think we played aggressively throughout, but it came out more in the second half, I was very pleased with the way they played throughout the game,” Robertson said. “I think I saw some of the girls go faster today than I have ever seen them, so I was really pleased with the effort.”

However, Troy went on a 4-1 run with a pair of goals from Vaccher to take a commanding lead into the fourth quarter.

Defenses took over the majority of the final frame as Troy continued to roll in the Freeway League.

Kayla Peko scored her second of two goals in the fourth quarter off an assists from Garcia in front of the cage.

The Lady Highlanders will attempt to right the ship when they take on city rival Sonora on the road, Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

“I still want to work on getting our drives down and getting the ball side, I think we’re still a little nervous with getting the ball down line,” Robertson said. “Also just our outside shots and our defense against 6-on-5s because we didn’t do so well with that today.”

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Lady Highlanders fall behind early at Troy

Posted on 21 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Brooke Mays dribbles near midfield against Troy's Alexis Fuerte during the first half of La Habra's 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Brooke Mays dribbles near midfield against Troy’s Alexis Fuerte during the first half of La Habra’s 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The La Habra girls’ soccer team looked overwhelmed losing 5-0 against Troy High School, Tuesday in Fullerton.

Troy’s home field advantage became a key factor as the Lady Warriors cruised to the victory. The Lady Highlanders struggled to adjust to the field, surrendering possession numerous times.

Troy has the widest field in the league, compared to a narrower field throughout the rest of the Freeway League.

The Lady Warriors also took advantage of their crowd who overwhelmed leading scorer Brooke Mays as well as some of the other girls the entire first half. Fans are allowed to stack the sidelines bringing them right next to the action.

Troy scored its first goal within the first few possessions of the game. Although La Habra looked to respond, they surrendered another goal minutes later when the defense slipped, letting the forwards attack just outside the box.

It was clear the Lady Highlanders felt helpless as a third goal went against them.

La Habra's Catalina Norris attempts to fend off Troy midfielders Michelle Perez and Alonna Clark during the first half of La Habra's 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

La Habra’s Catalina Norris attempts to fend off Troy midfielders Michelle Perez and Alonna Clark during the first half of La Habra’s 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

During halftime, Head Coach Matt Sanger looked to inspire his girls, and reminded them that La Habra was notorious for struggling early against Troy. He believed if they could whittle their lead down, they would have a chance.

An early goal in the second have gave Troy a 4-0 lead and crushed the Lady Highlanders hope for a comeback.

Coach Sanger liked what he saw from some of his younger girls who played significant minutes in the loss.

“All three of my freshman played a big role today,” Sanger said.

Jessica Garcia played the entire game at centerback and has started all three games in league, Midfielder Samiya Washington and striker Jessica Morales also played a large amount of the second half.

La Habra's Darriell Franklin works with the ball down the sideline while Troy's Audrey Barrera defends during the first half of La Habra's 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

La Habra’s Darriell Franklin works with the ball down the sideline while Troy’s Audrey Barrera defends during the first half of La Habra’s 5-0 loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Sanger was also pleased with the continued effort and development he has seen from sophomore Catalina Norris.

“She’s getting more time, she is starting now, (plays) very aggressively, steps to everything in front of her, she is still a little bit inexperienced but that’s what all this time is for,” he said.

Norris can expect to see an expanded role as the season unfolds.

“The way she is developing she is going to turn out to be a significant player for us because she is very young,” Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders will look to rebound on Thursday against city rival, Sonora.

Norris and Garcia will be looked upon to hold up the defense as the Highlanders shift their focus to the offensive end.

“Sonora is known for being very defensive, especially this season, so we are going to have a challenge breaking them down,” Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders have only scored two goals in their last four games, and only one since league play started.

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Lady Raiders drop league opener in final moments

Posted on 14 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Ashley Bordy, shown against Ayala, had a tough job in defending one of Troy's better offensive players in a 1-0 overtime loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Ashley Bordy, shown against Ayala, had a tough job in defending one of Troy’s better offensive players in a 1-0 overtime loss at Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora Lady Raiders’ soccer team dropped their league opener with a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Troy in overtime, Tuesday afternoon, at Troy High.

In the final seconds of the second overtime period, the Lady Warriors pressured in front of the net and put in a goal off of a rebound, which broke a scoreless tie. The goal came in the final minute of a 10-minute period.

The goal was credited to senior Kaycee Hoover.

“This was a real tough loss,” said Sonora head coach, Alex Bengard. “We came in with a game plan and executed it nearly perfectly for all but a few seconds and because of it, we leave with a loss to start the Freeway League season.”

From the beginning, it was clear that Sonora was playing not to lose. The Lady Raiders drew up a game plan to try to keep Troy from scoring, and executed it well for the whole game.

Troy (8-3-3, 1-0-0) controlled the ball for nearly the entire game and almost every time Sonora touched the ball they just dumped it back to Troy and made them start their attack over.

Goaltender Han Nguyen controlled Troy’s shots throughout. She had seven saves in the game.

The Raiders (4-7-4, 0-1-0) were led by a stellar defensive performance from top to bottom. Ashley Bordy was given the tough task of guarding Troy junior Lauren Woodyard for the majority of the game. Woodyard appeared to be stronger and faster than Bordy, but Bordy held her own in a gritty matchup and shut down one of Troy’s first options.

Despite the loss to start the year, the Lady Raiders are looking at the game as a positive going forward.

“The girls played great today,” Bengard said. “We proved that if we execute the way we are supposed to that we will be able to hang with just about anybody.”

Even though they did not get the win, the game definitely shows that the Lady Raiders may factor into the playoff race in the Freeway League.

“We will have a lot of confidence going forward,” Bengard said. “If the girls can play like they did today, we will definitely start to see some wins coming in.

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