Posted on 04 January 2013 by laha1016
By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
Playing for the first time in over a week, the La Habra girls soccer team played well in spurts in tying California 2-2 in a nonleague game at Cal High, Thursday afternoon.
But mixed in with those good stretches, were mistakes that cost La Habra the nonleague victory.
“We’re missing some starters today and right now my goal is keeping our girls healthy throughout the entire season,” said Matt Sanger, La Habra’s second-year head coach. “Because of that, we decided to take a week off and it showed today.”
The Lady Highlanders started low, as a failed attempt to clear went backwards and took a high bounce over goalkeeper Avery Barbosa, resulting in an own goal that put the Lady Condors up 1-0.
But La Habra responded well and started to play with more urgency, controlling and pushing into Cal’s half of the field.
In the 21st minute, Katelyn Rogers executed a perfectly placed cross from the left side to Brooke Mays, who used her left foot to tap it over the goalkeeper to tie the score.
Both teams had opportunities later in the half, most notably for Cal, a shot by Samantha Garcia that skimmed the top of the crossbar in the 29th minute.
Two minutes later on the other side, Rogers placed another cross just out of the reach of Kayla Delgado, who was going for a header on the far side.
“They [Rogers and Mays] have been dangerous all season,” Sanger said. “Dariell Franklin does a lot of providing from the midfielder position as well, so those three are our main girls that everything revolves around.”
Delgado saw a shot sail wide right at the beginning of the second half.
Shortly thereafter, Garcia saw two shots saved by Barbosa from close range.
But in the 47th minute, La Habra took the lead as Franklin drilled a long shot in the far side above Cal’s goalkeeper from the right corner of the box.
Seven minutes later, a back-and-forth from Rogers to Mays was broken up by the keeper.
La Habra’s lead appeared destined to hold up until a late handball was called against Danica Winker in the penalty box, which allowed the Lady Condors a penalty shot in the 69th minute.
“We had an own goal and a questionable penalty kick go against us today, but our defense is a bit of our weakness, we lost an all-league keeper and defender,” Sanger said. “We’ve spent all season trying to figure that out, so we may have a few girls that typically wouldn’t be back there, but we have to make do.”
Lizzie Ayson took the shot for Cal and tied the score by placing the shot on the ground to the right corner while Barbosa dove left.
Though both teams picked up the pace in the final 10 minutes, neither team got a major opportunity and both sides ended in a draw.
“Even though it was ugly, this was exactly what we needed today because when you take that long off you can forget the speed of the game,” Sanger said. “Cal was a good opponent for that because we didn’t feel they were that technical, but they worked fairly hard and there’s a small rivalry because the girls know each other. With Sunny Hills coming up, now we can focus and get ready for them.”