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Lady Warriors start February with shutout

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School's girls soccer team began January with seven consecutive shutouts before Valley Center scored a second-half goal on Jan. 31. Fallbrook's first February game was in Ramona, and the Warriors obtained their ninth shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory Feb. 2.

"These girls are working so hard. They're finally coming together; coming along," said Fallbrook coach Nico Guerra. "They work together as a team."

The three goals were the most for Fallbrook since Dec. 12, when the Warriors had a 3-1 victory over Vista which did not count in the league standings. Fallbrook played 11 games between the win against Vista and the shutout against Ramona. The first three of those were losses Dec. 14 at home against Murrieta Mesa, Dec. 16 at home against El Camino, and Dec. 21 at Mission Vista.

Fallbrook's first four games of January were all 0-0 ties. The Warriors preceded Valley League play with home games Jan. 4 against Oceanside and Jan. 9 against San Pasqual. League competition for the Warriors began Jan. 12 at Valley Center, and the Jan. 17 home game against Ramona was also a 0-0 tie.

In the first half of Fallbrook's Jan. 19 home game against Vista the Warriors scored their first goal in league play when junior Abby Petersen scored on a pass from freshman Anahi Briones. That would be the only goal of the 1-0 game. Fallbrook completed the first round of league play Jan. 24 at Escondido, and that game ended as a 0-0 draw.

Because this year's Valley League has only five teams Fallbrook traveled to Chula Vista for a Jan. 26 non-league game at Hilltop. The Warriors prevailed in that 1-0 contest.

Fallbrook began the second round of league play Jan. 31 at home against Valley Center. The Warriors scored the only goal of the first half, but a second-half Jaguars goal created a 1-1 final score while also breaking the Warriors' streak of seven consecutive shutouts.

Feb. 2 was Senior Night for Ramona, and the Bulldogs honored their two seniors. Ramona also recognized the six Fallbrook seniors who faced the Bulldogs. One of those Fallbrook seniors, Lizeth Algeria, took advantage of a play in which Ramona was able to touch a ball played by Fallbrook junior Alexa Van Eik, but not obtain possession. Algeria scored a goal 9:12 after the start of the game.

"It was a beautiful pass, and I was there for the rebound," Algeria said. "Glad I was there for the rebound."

That was the only goal of the first half, but 56 seconds into the second half junior Rori Gartner scored on a pass from senior Panther Espinoza to give Fallbrook a 2-0 lead.

"A really great cross. I really like playing with her," Gartner said.

The final goal was scored with 39:12 elapsed in the second half. Van Eik and sophomore Kylie Boulanger combined for that score.

"Great goal," Boulanger said.

"It was a team effort," Van Eik said.

The whistle to end the game blew shortly after that goal was scored to give the Warriors the victory and gave goalkeeper Aaliyah Arce another shutout. Arce credits her defenders: Espinoza, sophomore Kaylie Diaz, Petersen, and junior Jasmine Uresti. "They held it during the whole game," Arce said.

"Tonight's game was a little frustrating," said Ramona coach Candy Dinero. "At their house it was basically a 50-50 game."

The loss gave Ramona a Valley League record of 0-3-4 and an overall record of 2-10-5. Fallbrook improved to 2-0-4 in league play and 5–4-6 overall.

"We should have done a lot better," Guerra said. "We create a lot of opportunities. We're just having a hard time scoring."

Opponents are having a harder time scoring against the Warriors. The score against Ramona gave Fallbrook an overall season total of 14 goals scored and nine goals allowed. The three goals against Ramona gave Fallbrook a total of five in league play, but with only one goal allowed while no other team had allowed fewer than eight goals as of Feb. 2.

"That's because of the teamwork," Guerra said. "Everybody is supporting each other. It's a really good group of young kids."

 

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