Braves Robbed by the Raiders

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On Tuesday January 17, the BPHS Girls’ Varsity Soccer team took on the Rowland Raiders on Brave territory in a match that ended with a Raider victory, 2-1.

“I feel like the team did good first half like we held them down pretty good to a point where we were always on their backs, we just made some changes during the halftime that I think messed us up,” reflected varsity player Allison Pimentel.

Rowland attempted to take an early lead in the game, attempting two consecutive goals that were both effectively blocked by BP’s goalie, Brianna Valencia. Both teams were already playing aggressively. The Lady Braves were able to take advantage of their opponents unfamiliarity with their plays to score the first goal of the season, with Pimentel gaining her teammates their lead, bringing the score to 1-0. Despite this, Rowland’s offense and  defense were not discouraged and remained strong for the rest of the first half, keeping the ball on their half of the field for much of it.

The Raiders kept possession of the ball, but their shots were continuously unsuccessful. Both teams became increasingly frustrated and their moves only grew more aggressive as the game progressed. The game never slowed down with all the girls feverishly fighting for possession of the ball. The Raiders were able to gain the ball long enough to attempt two more shots, which were both blocked. The ball continued to change hands. The Lady Braves’ lack of communication allowed the Rowland girls to intercept their passes and regain possession, keeping the Braves from attempting any more goals for the remainder of the first half. The first half ended with a desperate yet strong shot from Rowland, which was still not enough to tie the game and left the Lady Braves in the lead, 1-0.

As the second half began, the Raiders once again attempted an early goal and were able to tie with their opponents, 1-1. The Lady Braves inability to talk to each other became an evident problem as it did not allow them to retain possession of the ball throughout the second half.  The second half was even more aggressive than the first. Audible gasps resounded throughout the stadium when a Raider slid into Valencia when she already had possession of the ball. Shortly after, Rowland was given a yellow card when a Raider pulled the shirt of one of the Lady Braves.

The Braves’ defense could not stop Rowland’s relentless offenses as a corner shot put them in the lead, 2-1. The ball changed hands multiple times before BP was granted a free kick, which was subsequently missed, leaving the Raiders in the lead. After this, both teams began to play with visible intensity, as the end of the game neared. The girls played with much more contact. The game was incredibly fast paced with BP’s offense passing short, quick kicks and Rowland’s defense never backing down. Lack of communication caused the Lady Braves to miss multiple passes, keeping them from their goal. The game ended without another attempted goal on BP’s half and with a Raider victory, 2-1.

Despite the loss, Pimentel showed optimism in the team learning from this game, saying, “The game affected us in a pretty positive way because as of now the other team is in 1st for league and the way we were winning in the first half and giving a strong fight actually made us confident in saying if we played like this every time, we would be a more challenging team.”

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