Lady Wave soccer team boots Railroaders
The Greenwave varsity girls soccer team is putting their losses behind them with a 4-1 win against the Sparks Railroaders on Wednesday.
The Lady Wave is currently 8-6-2 overall and 6-4-2 in D1-A, while the Railroaders are 8-7-2 overall and 8-5 in D1-A.
The Wave’s next match is on the road today against the Spring Creek Spartans.
The first thing that could be seen from the start of the game was that the Wave had improved their passing and were able to keep the ball in enemy territory again like in past matches and achieve a significant number more shots on goal.
Wave veteran Rebecca Mills had two early attempts on goal while picking up speed, but the Wave’s Leilani Otuafi would be the first to put the Wave on the board with an assist from Mills and 25:40 left in the first half.
The Wave was 1-0 thanks to their passing game,. They were able to achieve more breakaways since the Railroaders weren’t a team to attempt slide tackles against … just to get the ball away from the Wave forwards.
This in no way means this was a game without aggression, however, just a different kind.
The intensity manifested whenever a Wave or a Railroader player would race to the ball wherever a gap existed. Since the teams were relatively equal in speed, and neither would flinch in sprinting to regain possession, there were numerous audible collisions, and a few bad falls on either side.
This included a hard tumble that took the Wave’s Melinda Fagundes out for most of the rest of the first half.
Nonetheless, the Lady Wave girls would pick up speed in the next seven minutes, when Otuafi and Mills made it back into Railroaders territory and Mills scored from just outside the goalpost with 18 minutes left, bringing it 2-0 with the Wave in the lead.
Defensively, the Wave boasted good anticipation by Kayla Biggs, who was able to tell as a midfielder where the ball would go and disrupt kicks by Railroader Juanita Lopez.
Wave midfielder Mara Garcia displayed a newfound aggression this match as well, taking many hard kicks to the leg to keep the ball between here and Wave Brittany Wallace on their way back to Sparks territory.
Railroader Zahora Toledo used her footwork to charge up the left side, but was stopped before she even got a shot on goal by Wave defender Mayzie Jones.
Otuafi had another shot on goal that went far over the fence, disrupted by Railroader Liz Mendez who would be tailing her throughout the rest of the match.
Biggs diverted her attention to Sparks captain Angelica Hurtado, one of the fastest of her team that would make trouble for the Wave in the second half, but was shut down offensively in the first when ganged up on.
After one last attempt on goal by Sparks Ariceli Espinosa that rolled right into Wave goalkeeper Kayce Mulder’s hands, the first half ended with the Wave up 2-0.
Fagundes was eager to make up for lost time in the second half, charging up the right through two Sparks defenders for a shot on goal eight minutes in.
While the Wave kept it in the Sparks goalpost, Lopez prevented them from scoring in a frenzy, since many Wave girls were in a cluster around the ball and Lopez kicked it out to avoid anything rolling past the Sparks goalkeeper.
Turning it around quick intercepting the kick downfield, Toledo broke away past Wallace and Biggs and scored the first point for the Railroaders, bringing it 2-1 with the Wave still ahead.
Mendez, Hurtado and Lopez saw fit to gang up on Otuafi after her next shot on goal, shutting her down for a few minutes in any regard but passing.
This would change, however, when Otuafi was only up against Mendez, outdoing her in footwork to return the ball to Wave Kailey Davis, who would spend the next eight minutes in sparks territory with only one kick backfield to Otuafi who would then pass to Wave Sierra Hickox.
Hickox had an impressive game in terms of breakaways and control, able to intercept and outrun the Railroaders for an impressive shot on goal just above the net with 14 minutes left in the half.
Not long after that, Mills scored her second goal of the match, bringing Fallon’s lead to 3-1 with the Lady Wave distancing themselves slowly from the visiting Railroaders.
Mills would be followed by Davis, who within three minutes scored as well, when the Railroaders began to slow down in their speed.