Posted on 28 December 2012 by La Habra Journal
By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
Chargers forward Jamie Benedetto scored the game’s lone goal in the fourth minute off a free kick by Emma Trumbull in a set piece.
However, the Lady Raiders keyed on Benedetto throughout the remainder of the game and Dos Pueblos’ offensive opportunities were limited for the remainder of the game.
“We have a hard time finding that initial goal and in soccer, once you get that goal, the rest will come,” said Alex Bengard, Sonora head coach. “Defensively, once we figured out their key player, the girls stepped up. I thought we could grab a tie or even a win.”
The pressure on Benedetto meant more time in the offensive zone for Sonora, however, the Chargers’ defense was up to the challenge, disrupting almost all attempts at goal.
Junior forward Amalia Serna had two big opportunities, one in each half, but could not find the net.
In the 9th minute, a throw in found Serna in front of the goal, but her shot rose above the cross bar and out of bounds.
“She’s a girl with an extreme amount of pace,” Bengard said. “It’s just a matter of her having the confidence to do it, when she does, she creates problems for teams. We stress to our forwards that if they don’t score, create positive opportunities and I thought she did that tonight.”
Later in the half, Sonora had two opportunities taken away by offside calls and a corner kick failed to land inbounds.
At the start of the second half, another offside call took away a one-on-one opportunity, while Dos Pueblos missed a chance to extend the lead when Malia Morales led too far with a cross.
Sonora goalkeeper Cortney Coyle punched away two corner kicks in the second half.
The Lady Raiders spent most of the second half pressing on offense.
Serna had another opportunity in the 46th minute after getting past the goalkeeper, but a Dos Pueblos defender knocked the ball away at the last moment, denying a shot.
Eight minutes later, Tatsiana Loscutoff’s header sailed over the net after a long throw-in from Kristy Wickham.
That miss would be the last opportunity for either team as Dos Pueblos hung on for the win.
“I just want to see the girls continue to play with energy,” Bengard said. “We feel the goals will come and if that means we get hot when league comes, that’s better, but we don’t want them to put their heads down. If they play like we know they can, everything will fall into place.”
Sonora will continue action in the North Orange County Classic tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. at La Mirada High.