The Wolf Pack girls finish the season at 3-6-1 in the Tri-City Athletic League, 5-15-1 overall, and fourth place in TCAL. St. Mary’s, undefeated in league play, and Tokay, 7-2-1, are headed to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Even though they won’t head to the postseason, players saw their team get better all season and figure there’s a good foundation in place for next year.
“As a team, we were really young. Starting out, our chemistry wasn’t always there,” senior Kristy Fojo said. “It was hard for me because I was hurt most of the season and didn’t get to play much. Toward the end, we pulled it through and did the best we could.”
Senior Laurel Lewis said the team’s younger players have been encouraging as the season progressed.
“They’re only going to get better,” she said.
The Wolf Pack had plenty that worked Friday. The Wolf Pack defense protected the goal and got the ball up field, only to get within a kick or a pass of an open shot and come away scoreless.
“We just couldn’t finish,” coach Abel Dorado said. “We had six or seven good open shots and just couldn’t put them in.”
Tokay took a 1-0 lead early in the first half and kept the pressure on West’s goal. West sweeper Lewis and goalkeeper Paige Moore protected the goal after that, but the Wolf Pack wasn’t able to put pressure on Tokay until the second half.
West’s Marissa Tabancura, Natalie Lambert, Victoria Carrera and Fojo made shots on the Tiger goal that Tokay’s goalkeeper blocked. West made long passes up the field with Lambert in pursuit, but each time it was just out of her reach or defenders were quick enough to get between the ball and the goal before Lambert could take her shot.
Tokay took another opportunity 30 minutes into the second half with a shot from about 25 yards out and fired the ball into the upper-right corner of the goal to make it a 2-0 game.
Freshman/sophomore: West 2, Tokay 0
The freshman/sophomore game was scoreless until the last 15 minutes. West found its opportunities at the end when Yelda Arghandiwal scored on a penalty kick and Alejandra Reyes scored when Arghandiwal passed the ball in from the side.
The win puts the team at 12-8-1 overall, 7-3 in TCAL, at the end of the season.
“They developed good as a team and kept working hard,” coach Brian Ballard said.
The winning year for the freshman/sophomore team is also a good sign for West’s future —many of these players will join the varsity team next year, while the varsity loses only a few seniors to graduation.
McNair 1, West 0
Both teams kept up a strong defensive game Wednesday. But a penalty kick in the second half gave McNair the 1-0 advantage and the win.
West had its opportunities to score, but the Eagles were quick to outrun West’s drives up the field and deny any chances for clear shots.
“They were just pushing really hard. Our passing was there, but they beat us to the ball,” forward Lambert said.
After McNair scored early in the second half, West kept the pressure on the McNair goal until the end.
“Sometimes we lose confidence, but today we just kept it going and we did pretty good. It’s probably one of the better games we played,” Lambert said.
McNair kept the pressure on West’s defense in the first half and outran West when the Wolf Pack tried to bring the ball back on offense. The Eagles had opportunities to score in the first half, including four shots that West goalkeeper Paige Moore blocked or deflected.
West’s Lilibeth Torres, Leslie Baires and Lambert also took shots on McNair’s goal in the first half, only to see the keeper catch or block their shots.
McNair scored about 12 minutes into the second half on a penalty kick. That was part of an assault on West’s goal that saw Lewis block a shot, Moore block another and another McNair shot bounce off the right post.
West responded with Fojo’s and Lambert’s charge down field. Through a crowd of McNair defenders Lambert got next to the right corner of the McNair goal, Fojo passed to her, and Lambert tapped it in. Officials ruled that there had been a penalty on West before the shot and the goal was no good.
Six minutes later, West got a penalty kick from the left side. Baires shot the ball across the McNair goal, but West players in front couldn’t get a clear shot.
Freshman/sophomore: West 2, McNair 0
West’s junior varsity squad scored two goals in the first half, both from Sadaf Latifi, one in the 13th minute and another in the 35 minute.
She said that the first goal was a sudden opportunity where she saw that she could score.
“The ball just came, and I saw the goal and took the shot, and it went to the left corner,” she said, adding that for the second goal she took a pass from about 15 yards out and shot it over the goalie’s head.