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Prep girls soccer: Almost just isn’t enough

Despite chances, neither team finds a way to score

Posted: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
West Ranch’s Shelby Dailor, left, and Canyon’s Kelsi Howard go for the ball on Friday at West Ranch High. West Ranch’s Shelby Dailor, left, and Canyon’s Kelsi Howard go for the ball on Friday at West Ranch High.
<p>West Ranch’s Shelby Dailor, left, and Canyon’s Kelsi Howard go for the ball on Friday at West Ranch High.</p>

The West Ranch girls soccer team did almost everything right during the first half on Friday afternoon.

But for the second game in a row, the Wildcats’ one missing ingredient was their finishing touch, as neither West Ranch, nor visiting Canyon could find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw at West Ranch High School.

The Cowboys (5-5-3 overall, 1-0-1 Foothill League) struggled out of the gates, unable to hold possession and get the ball into the attacking zone.

Instead, the first 40 minutes featured a Wildcats team on the offensive, pushing the ball up into the attacking third with strong play throughout the midfield.

West Ranch (5-4-3, 0-1-1) came close to scoring twice in the first three minutes, forcing Canyon goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy to make two of her three saves right off the bat.

Shelby Dailor came close to giving the Wildcats their first goal of the Foothill League season in the 38th minute when she received a pass from teammate Ashley Goodin before her shot hit off the crossbar, keeping it scoreless entering the half.

The Cowboys came out with renewed confidence in the final 40 minutes, making better decisions with the ball and taking advantage of their speed up top with forwards Vanessa Quintero and Kendall Bietsch.

“It just coincides with your confidence when you get open looks, especially early in a game. A chance to put a team away early, and you don’t,” said West Ranch head coach Jared White. “It builds them up, ‘Hey we’ve got a chance,’ and it tears you down, ‘Nothing can go right.’ I think it’s wearing on us big time.”

The Cowboys, though, couldn’t find the back of the net either, with West Ranch keeper Logan Byam-Taylor on top of her game, and defenders Savannah Tujague and Jackie Cardenas, who checked Quintero for much of the match, holding down the backline.

Byam-Taylor made three saves in the contest and disrupted Canyon’s forwards multiple times before they could get a shot off.

Canyon came close, though, hitting the post early in the second half and just missing, connecting on a header midway through the half when Bietsch sent a cross to Quintero that was mishit over the endline.

“The second half we had opportunities we couldn’t finish,” said Canyon head coach Derek Rusk. “It’s a little bit of a disappointment.”

White’s sentiments were similar.

“Not pleased at all,” he said. “These are games we have to win if we want to make playoffs and finish where we want to according to our goals at the beginning of the year. If we weren’t getting chances, that’s one thing. But we are — and that’s the frustrating part.”


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