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Halftime lead too much to overcome in girls soccer


December 26, 2013
After starting out the season with four wins in a row, the Valley Center varsity girls soccer team has hit a skid, losing the last three, including a tough loss against San Marcos in the rain.

The Lady Jaguars played well in the Barons Tournament and had all four games come down to a 1–0 final, but they won the first two and lost the second two.

Then at home against San Marcos on Thursday, the Lady Jags couldn't keep pace with the Lady Knights and suffered a 4–0 loss.

On a cold, wet night, the Lady Jaguars got off to a bad start and couldn't recover, as the Lady Knights kept the pressure on all game long.

San Marcos scored the first goal with just over 30 minutes remaining in the first half, as Valley Center goalie Nicole Venisse came out to try to break up a long pass, but the Lady Knights just got to the ball first and the shot trickled into the net for the breakthrough goal.

Midway through the first half, San Marcos scored again, this time on a long run down the sideline and a great shot from an angle that found the side netting and gave the Lady Knights a 2–0 lead with just under 17 minutes left before halftime.

Valley Center had its chances before the half ran out, however, as Leilani Diefenbach nearly broke free in the offensive zone, and a late throw-in deep in San Marcos territory resulted in a glancing header and a shot that was just wide.

The Lady Knights didn't waste any time extending their lead after halftime, as they buried a shot on a loose ball in front of the Valley Center net with less than a minute gone in the second half.

The game settled into a scoreless rhythm for most of the second half, as Valley Center tried to find a path into the offensive zone, but were thwarted time and time again by the stout San Marcos defense.

In stoppage time at the end of the game, the Lady Knights strung together a series of outstanding passes in front of the Lady Jaguar net and scored their fourth goal to seal the win.

"We got beat on defense," head coach Joshua Jones said after the game. "We weren't marking on the back end, and when you don't score, it's hard to keep playing good defense. We want to control the midfield and keep our passes short and simple. We're going to focus on our passing game in practice this week. We've lost a few in a row, but we're going to break this streak."

Valley Center will look to get back on track after the holidays when they host Mission Hills on Jan. 7 at 5:15 p.m.

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