Vazquez’s late goal lifts Lancers to victory
WHITTIER – No. 6 La Serna scored a late goal in the 18th minute of the second half to break a scoreless tie and shutout No.3 Cal High, 1-0, in a Del Rio League game at Cal High Tuesday.
After a lengthy delay due to an injured La Serna player (Hailey Blair) in the 25th minute of the second half, senior midfielder Liz Vazquez scored a goal to lift the Lancers to the victory to remain undefeated in league at 4-0 and 14-5-3 overall.
With the loss, the Condors remain in second at 2-1-1 and 15-2-2 overall.
La Serna has scored 14 goals and allowed only one in league play, while Cal has also allowed only one goal and has scored five in the DRL.
“It was a little chaotic as everybody was trying to get a hit on it and I saw it open and I tapped it in,” Vazquez said. “Right place, right time.
“We came out a little slow in the game and the second half we came back. After seeing the injury and knowing the time was going down I really had to step it up.”
The goal was started after freshman forward Olivia Rodriguez dribbled the ball down the left side and knocked the ball toward the goal and after a few bounces, Vazquez saw the opening.
“When Hailey got hurt both Brian (Cal coach Bordier) and I were talking and kind of saying both teams were trying to figure out how to make adjustments,” La Serna coach Chris Carroll said. “When two teams are going at each other it’s not always going to be the prettiest play for a goal.
Especially the first time you play Cal, you want to beat them and that puts pressure on everyone else.”
Cal and La Serna play again, as they moved the game to a Saturday (Feb. 1) on senior day for the Lancers.
The winning goal was started after a corner kick and Rodriguez won the ball and it went into the middle of play in front of Cal junior goalkeeper, Beth Juarez.
Just prior to the goal, Juarez made a phenomenal stop on a long shot by La Serna freshman defender Misheal Early. The shot was just tipped over the crossbar as Juarez used her fingertips to send the ball over.
“That’s a highlight right there by her (Juarez),” said Cal junior forward Hailey Gomez, of the save. “It was a great game and wasn’t dirty and at the end of the day, you just want a good game. After that injury, that whole break took the wind out of us. In the first half, we had a lot of opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize.
Lopez, who wasn’t marked in the game, leads the team and the DRL with 21 goals for the season and is aiming for the Cal season record of 29 goals.
“We’re really pushing it this season and I’m in shock and there’s just something different this year and we have a passion to win,” Gomez said.
Bordier, who has been a coach at Cal for 19 years and 12 as head coach, knows that there is a lot of respect on both sides of the ball.
“Both teams played really well (Tuesday) and it’s always a good game with a lot of friends on both sides,” Bordier said. “We just couldn’t capitalize on them and it’s always a hard-fought contest. (La Serna) fought hard and deserved the win.”
Rodriguez, who is in her second year on varsity, credits her defenders in front of her.
“They (Rodriguez, Alexa Valdez and Misheal Earley) played really hard all of them keep the ball away from the goal,” she said. “All of the cheering and the excitement is great for us.
“Winning the first game gives us the confidence we need and to keep our league title.”