EL DORADO HILLS — After a blowout 7-0 win at Valley High School to start the 2013 campaign, the Oak Ridge girls soccer team fell short in a 1-0 loss to a good Bella Vista squad.
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“I thought it was a reasonably close game. A couple of little moments that could have gone either way. We didn’t generate enough offensive chances and that’s something we’re working on,”
new Trojan coach Joe Champion said.
The first half was highly contested and hard-fought. Troy had an early opportunity, but a Julia Crawford boot in the 13th minute was stopped. Play slowed as neither team found an open shot on goal until the 33rd minute when Miranda Miller let go a powerful shot from the corner that nearly bent in the goal but instead missed wide.
The Trojans’ strong defense all afternoon kept Oak Ridge in the game. In the 35th, a Bella Vista attacker gained possession with open field ahead of her, forcing goalkeeper Nina Grimes to exit her box. Grimes dove on the ball to prevent what would have been a sure goal.
Both teams had chances late in the half, but neither capitalized as the game remained scoreless headed into the half.
Bella Vista scored early in the second half. In the 49th minute off a corner kick, Angelica Rangel fielded the ball in traffic and punched it in past a diving Grimes to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
With Oak Ridge in scramble mode, the Trojans nearly tied it up in the 56th minute, but a Sydney Hold free kick was just right of the post. Hold nearly knotted it up again in the 64th when her shot sailed just over the crossbar.
Oak Ridge had another chance in the 74th minute when Carisa Rivers gained some space, but she wasn’t able to convert as her kick averted the goal post and was wide left. The Trojans desperately tried to get a shot off at the end but to no avail as their record on the new year dropped to 1-1.
“I’ve noticed how much this team wants to improve. They’re technical players; we want to try to create a short passing style to suit those players. It’s going to take a little bit of time, and we’re going to start to see the results as the year goes on. This is a young team with only three seniors (Rivers, Olivia Frace, Haley Van Overbeek), so it’s good how they’re competing well so early,” Champion said.