The sun set over the Ventura College stadium on Jan. 12, illuminating the girls’ soccer team’s first league home game against Thacher School. The Dragons defeated the Toads, 3-1, successfully kicking off their season.
The first half started with Foothill kicking off the ball. The Dragons had three attempts on goal before the first goal of the night was shot by junior Gabby Pido on an assist by senior Alexandria Ramirez with 28:21 left in the first half.
Thacher retaliated with an attempt at 17:48 and a goal one minute later. Two more shots were attempted by Foothill and a goal by senior Robin Bedard assisted by sophomore Gwynneth Redemann was made with three minutes left in the first half.
However, the goal was fouled as an offside and the first half of the game ended, 1-1.
Junior Ada Tadeo described the first half as “shaky” but felt that in “the second half we really picked up our game and started connecting more [and] did better.”
Tadeo previously played for Buena, and thought the transition to playing for the Dragons “definitely feels a lot better.”
“I like the girls here a lot. Foothill’s like a good family, I love them,” she said. “I was anxious to play but I think it still turned out well.”
The second half kicked off with Thacher taking the ball and an attempt by the Toads three minutes in but the ball was stopped by goalie freshman Hailey Villano. Villano made a total of four saves throughout the night.
Two attempts were made by Redemann and junior Anika Flint but were blocked by Thacher.
However, junior Raquel Tadeo scored the second goal of the night with 25 minutes left on the clock on an assist by sophomore Nichole Hendrix.
The final goal of the night was made on a corner kick by junior Sidney Shinsky off an assist by Redemann, ending the game, 3-1.
Shinsky was proud of her teammates’ efforts in their first league home game of the season.
“I thought we started off pretty strong both halves, and I think we just had a lot of energy. We definitely made it an effort to come bring it to this team,” Shinsky said. “I just think that all-around, there was a lot of really good work effort. We just kind of gelled well.”
Coach Analiese White agreed that this cooperation among the players was a key part of the team’s victory.
“Considering that we just got our players back from the [sit-out period], they played very well,” she said. “They’re starting to gel and learning to connect and use their space very well so they’re building really, really well.”
For junior Katie Hernandez, preparation for the game was just part of the Dragons’ normal routine.
“We heard that they [Thacher] beat Carp[enteria], and I believe that we [beat] Carp[enteria], […] and so we just tried to keep up our intensity and play like we usually do,” Hernandez said.
With this win under their belts, Shinsky looks forward to the end of the season, and hopes it will end with the Dragons competing in CIF finals.
“Well, season is just kind of starting, but we’ll definitely progress as a team. With practice and hard work, and if everyone just has the right mindset, I think we can be successful,” she said.
–Bryn Treloar-Ballard, Rugile Pekinas