Lady Jags tie Mission Hills, lose to Escondido Charter in soccer
The VCHS freshman girls soccer team suffered a tough loss against Mission Hills. Dan Kidder / Valley Roadrunner
January 15, 2014It seems like it's been a long time since Valley Center's varsity girls soccer team won its first four games of the season, as the Lady Jaguars came out of the holiday break with a tie and another loss to begin 2014.
The Lady Jags hosted Mission Hills last Tuesday and battled to a 1–1 tie, as both teams scored in the first half but couldn't get a game-winner after halftime.
Then on Thursday, Escondido Charter came to town and scored early in the second half to hand Valley Center a 1–0 loss.
The Lady Jaguars controlled the ball through the majority of the first half, but couldn't make the most of their chances in the offensive zone. The best chance came just before the half, as Victoria Lawrence broke free on a nice run and fed Raquel Cifuentes, who put a shot just wide of the net.
The Lady White Tigers came out strong in the second half, forcing Valley Center goalkeeper Nicole Venisse to make an outstanding diving save with only six minutes gone.
Escondido Charter kept the pressure on and finally broke through on an unusual play with just under 13 minutes left in the game. In the defensive zone, the Lady White Tigers got possession and cleared the ball with a long kick down the near sideline. The spinning ball hit the turf near the sideline and skipped along the line, staying just in bounds as it continued down the field. Nearly all the players on the field checked up, expecting the ball to go out of bounds, but when it stayed in, the Escondido Charter forward jumped into action. She tracked down the ball, cut back to the middle of the field, made a move to get past the quickly recovering defense and put a shot past the keeper for the game's only goal.
Venisse made another big save a few minutes later to keep her team in the game, and with just under three minutes left, Julia Stone had an excellent chance but just missed the net. The Lady Jags tried furiously to get a shot on goal in the closing seconds, but the Lady White Tigers withstood the onslaught and held on for the win.
Valley Center has already played this week at Escondido on Wednesday, and the team returns home on Friday to face Vista at 5:15 p.m.