Soccer Girls Lose, Draw, But Coach Applauds Focus

The South Pasadena girls varsity soccer team lost against Division 2 Oaks Christian 3-2 on Saturday but tied 1-1 at Sierra Vista on Tuesday.

The Tigers had their work cut out for them in their game against Oaks Christian. It was a battle from the start, and the Lions opened it up with a fourth-minute goal that South Pas countered a minute later with a goal by junior forward Kaylee Wallace.

South Pasadena played a tactical and defensive first half until the Lions were able to outmuscle a Tiger defender and score a goal just before the halftime whistle.

Head coach Francisco Lopez said the team did well, and played the game they wanted to.

“We focused on playing very defensive and eliminated the space behind us to keep them in front,” he said. “For the most part, we did well but they found their moments early on. That kind of put us on our heels going into the second half.”

South Pasadena continued as strategized but gave up an unfortunate penalty where junior goalkeeper Kate Buckley misread the ball and fouled a Lions’ player in the box. Oaks Christian scored the penalty in the 47th minute, but Buckley was slow to get up after landing hard on her side that was previously injured. Junior goalkeeper Andrea Zarazua, the team’s main keeper who has been nursing an ankle injury herself, replaced Buckley for the game.

Senior midfielder Andrea Castellanos set up a free kick from around thirty yards out and put it away in the 60th minute.

Down 3-2, the Tigers had to increase the intensity and try to tie the game.

Wallace was close to scoring the tying goal, but the Oaks Christian defense didn’t allow it. She landed hard on her back and left the game.

Lopez said that, given the players he had available, the team executed well against the Lions and did well defending and creating counterattack chances.

The team’s game on Tuesday went a little differently. Sierra Vista came out strong to start the game and pressured the ball in order to send it up to their forward to create opportunities.

Sierra Vista played an aggressive game and the injury-plagued Tigers did what they could with the players they had.

Senior midfielder Jessica Lat made her season debut and scored a goal in the second half that was assisted by senior midfielder Corey Segal. The Tigers had 10 shots on goal but only put one into the back of the net.

“It’s good to see that we’re still competitive,” he said. “There are girls that are stepping up and are filling in and playing well, and that’s good to know. Jessica — she had a lights-out game in her debut. Her and Chloe Kim connected well. It was good to see.”

Castellanos played a solid game on Tuesday but injured her hamstring with about 20 minutes left in the game. As a precaution, Lopez sat her out for the remainder of the contest.