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West Ranch out-scrapped

Wildcats play a strong game, but are defeated by a solid Crescenta Valley

Posted: December 8, 2009 10:31 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Crescenta Valley's Dana Dowse (22) and West Ranch's Megan McDonald (7) fight to gain possession during their match on Tuesday.

It did not take long to see that West Ranch and Crescenta Valley were in for a long 80 minutes.

And by the end of regulation, both head coaches were using the same word — scrappy.

Jockeying for possession all game, the Falcons found a way to break through a tough Wildcats defense late to earn a 1-0 victory on Tuesday at West Ranch High School.

“We struggled a little bit with how aggressive they were,” said Wildcats head coach Cami Bangasser. “They kind of put us back on our heels a bit and when they put back on our heels we played defensively minded. We didn’t generate much of an attack. (We were) a little intimidated at first and I think that cost us huge.”

Crescenta Valley (3-0-1), which is No. 7 in the preseason CIF-Southern Section Division II rankings, scored in the 60th minute when a Frances Boukidis throw-in found its way into the box. Teammate Danny Cardenas hit the ball far post from six yards out, helping to hand the Wildcats (2-1-1) their first loss of the season.

The Falcons honed in on West Ranch’s offensive playmakers, including junior forward Amanda Dailor, who still managed two of her team’s three shots on goal. Senior midfielder Regan Romero recorded the third.

Led defensively by sophomore Kendall Moskal and senior goalkeeper Tina Hedwall, West Ranch played Crescenta Valley to a stalemate in the first half.

“(Moskal) does amazing things for us,” Bangasser said. “You talk about scrappy. You talk about heart. That girl is all heart. It’s always comforting to know that if Kendall can’t get there, Tina can.”

Hedwall finished the game with eight saves, including three from point-blank range in the second half.

Her play kept the Wildcats within striking distance.

“I just needed to stay positive and I needed to keep my team in the game, because we were kind of down at halftime,” Hedwall said. “I was trying to keep them in the game. I just hate losing, so I’m going to do my best to keep the ball out of the net.”

Hedwall’s counterpart, Falcons goalkeeper Amanda Johnson finished with two saves, helped by an offense that recorded nine shots on goal, most of which came in the second half.

“We were talking at halftime we had to get numbers forward. We’ve got to pressure the ball more,” said Crescenta Valley head coach Reggie Rivas. “It seemed like we were sitting back too much defensively and not thinking attack.”

West Ranch mounted a counterattack late in the second half, but was unable to break through the Falcons’ back line and get a quality shot on frame.

“I think we are playing really well together,” Hedwall said. “We have a lot of things to work on, but for now, we’re doing pretty well.”


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