Varsity girls soccer draws to Ruben S. Ayala

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Bruce Nguyen, Staff writer

Walnut varsity girls soccer team played against Ruben S. Ayala High School (0-0) on Dec. 5, making their preseason score four wins, one loss and one tie (4-3-1).

The game started off with Ayala in possession of the ball. With a hard attack,  Ayala shot first, only to get blocked by goalkeeper sophomore Talisa Perez, who bravely attacked the incoming ball. With the game now in full swing, both sides applied pressure to the ball but the Mustangs made a break away towards the Ayala goal. Unfortunately, Ayala kicked it out past the goal, giving the Mustangs a corner kick that Walnut missed.

“The first opportunity they had was at the top of the box. The girl was dribbling, so I decided to go and attack the ball. The ball hit me and it went out,” Perez said. “Honestly I think our defense did really well yesterday. They made sure that me and [goalkeeper senior] Lillian [Dukes] did not get shocked [when they attacked].”

As both teams fought on, there were many shots on both goals that failed. Ayala, now frustrated, pressed hard against the Mustangs, shot three consecutive shots in the same attack. One was blocked by Perez, the second by a slide tackle from middle/forward senior Masyn Ramos and the third by center defender junior Sienna Cervantes.

“I feel like we were attacking more in the first half and we were playing better as a team. I would say our possession was really good too,” Cervantes said. “The defense was really good last night. We were defending a lot of the game and we all worked really well.”

In the second half, with the score still 0-0, both teams were now attacking harder than ever, but Walnut was prepared. During halftime Walnut changed their position to support their defense to prevent Ayala from scoring on Dukes, who would make many crucial saves for the Mustangs.

“[They once tried to] cross [the ball] but then I dived to the right and hit it away. I got up and [blocked them again],” Dukes said. “Defense did a really good job keeping up with the forwards and at halftime when we changed our formation, we adapted to it [and it helped us] move the ball in the middle of the field.”

This constant pattern of attacks being denied or blocked continued throughout the rest of the game with neither team giving any ground to the other. Walnut and Ayala fell into a stalemate ending the game with the score of 0-0.

“Last year we lost against this team but this time we tied, [which] shows we are a good team and we have potential to win the season,” Dukes said.