As far as close games go, the one played by the SM girls’ varsity soccer team last night against JSerra was definitely of the “on-the-edge-of-your-seat” variety. The Lady Eagles hit the ground running in their 2-1 victory with a quick goal against JSerra barely two minutes into the first half. JSerra definitely wouldn't be going down without a fight, however, and responded with a successful chip shot just a few minutes later. With the score tied one-all, the stage was set for the Lady Eagles and the JSerra Lions to settle in for a long battle, to be fought tooth and nail every step of the way. Attackers were all over the field as the ball constantly changed direction and possession, but chief among the aggressive players for SM and JSerra were Kailey Hackett and Antoinette Bailey, respectively. Staying true to her position as a Defensive Midfeilder, Hackett repeatedly intercepted the ball at midfield and returned it back towards the opponent's goal. This opened up multiple opportunities for SM’s Forward, Samantha Trenary, to attack the goal repeatedly, resulting in SM’s second (and winning) goal.
On the other side of the competition was Bailey, who on two occasions led breaks to SM’s goal despite the best efforts of the Lady Eagle defenders. Thanks to Bailey’s incredible speed, she was able to set up two good offensive opportunities for her team, yet both of which were unsuccessful. It wasn't long before tensions started to rise, and in the latter part of the first half, JSerra defenders committed a foul against SM Midfielder Maggie Ghotbi as she was about to facilitate a pass to one of her teammates. This gave Ghotbi the opportunity for a point via penalty kick. When later asked about the incident, Ghotbi confessed that she “didn't really remember” much of the play, lending credence to the theory that the game’s speed and intensity kept the players focused on one thing and one thing only: the task at hand.
The climactic moment of the game came early in the second half when JSerra Defensive Midfielder Ashley Errett suffered a bloody nose after an aggressive play by SM. Errett had to sit out the remainder of the game, which may have led to the Lady Eagles' eventual success. Samantha Trenary later expressed happiness that she and her team were able to capture the win Monday afternoon in what was their last game before CIF Playoffs. One thing is certain above all else: if the Lady Eagles are going to capitalize on their winning record in the postseason, they’re going to need every ounce of the aggression and passion they set forth against the Lions in their last game.