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Prep soccer: Valencia beats two opponents

Vikings girls withstand the wind to beat Yucaipa at home

Posted: December 10, 2010 10:50 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia’s Rebecca Harrison, left, steals the ball from Yucaipa’s Danica Requejo on Friday at Valencia High.

Valencia girls soccer was not only trying to work in a new offensive system, it was trying to do it while dealing with the elements.

The Vikings battled constant high winds throughout their match and managed a 2-0 victory over Yucaipa on Friday afternoon at Valencia High School.

"We had the wind in our favor in the first half and we wanted that because we know sometimes the wind can die down later in the day," said Valencia head coach Sean O'Connell.

It turned out the wind stuck around all afternoon, but Valencia (3-1-1) took advantage of its early direction and took a 1-0 lead with a score in the 16th minute.

Striker Brittney Sayre kicked it in from just inside the 18-yard box when she received a cross from midfielder Taylor Harrison.

"We were all over them in the first half," O'Connell said. "We probably had the ball on our side 85 percent of the time, but we were playing sloppy, not taking advantage of a lot of chances."

The goal was scored with the Vikings' strategy of moving the ball down field with one striker in the middle with two midfielders on the side to feed her the ball.

The strategy was enough for the Vikings to hold onto a narrow lead for most of the match, holding off Yucaipa's wind-assisted attack in the second half, which saw the T-Birds fire two shots off the top crossbar and attempt their only two corner kicks of the day.

"It's tough because you just have to play to feet," Sayre said. "You have to keep the ball down."

When the ball was kicked in the air, the wind would simply push it back toward the south side of the field.

Despite the ball remaining on Yucaipa's side in the second half, Valencia managed to fight the wind for an insurance goal late in the match.

The score came in the 74th minute when midfielder McKenna Sekeres broke free past a pair of defenders on the left side and dribbled it toward Yucaipa goalkeeper Jenna Gavigan. She made one last pass to Katie Colletta, who tapped it into the wide open net from just outside the goal line.

"It's a great win for our program, but I'm hoping it was just a letdown game," O'Connell said. "This wasn't our best performance."



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