Three Foothill girls’ soccer players attempted to score within three minutes during the first half, but none of them was successful. Finally, with 20:56 left in the half, junior Raquel Tadeo scored the first goal of the game, kicking off what would become a 5-0 win against the Villanova Preparatory Wildcats on the Dragons’ home field at Ventura College on Thursday evening.
Three Foothill girls’ soccer players attempted to score within three minutes during the first half, but none of them was successful. Finally, with 20:56 left in the half, junior Raquel Tadeo scored the first goal of the game, kicking off what would become a 5-0 win against the Villanova Preparatory Wildcats on the Dragons’ home field at Ventura College Thursday evening.
The first play of the night was a save by the Dragons’ goalie, freshman Hailey Villano, who stopped the Wildcats from scoring three minutes after the Dragons kicked off at 4:46 p.m. to begin the final home game of the season.
The second goal of the night came from Tadeo again, assisted by sophomore Sabrina Almaraz, with 11:17 left in the half.
Junior Aniaka Flint responded with a goal of her own seven minutes later, and the half ended with the scoreboard reading 3-0 in the Dragons’ favor.
The Wildcats kicked off for the second half, but the Dragons responded with a rapid goal from Almaraz off an assist by junior Gabby Pido with 36:59 left on the clock.
Flint scored a second goal with 29:31 left in the game, and the game ended with the Dragons shutting out Villanova, 5-0.
Though the score was high, senior Robin Bedard believed there were aspects of the game the team could have improved.
“We could have done a lot better in the first half, [we could have] had more energy,” she said. “We come out a lot stronger in the second half.”
Coach Analiese White agreed.
“We started out a little slow, but eventually we picked it up and started connecting passes and communicating and playing the soccer that we know how to play. So we finished pretty strong,” White said.
However, Bedard felt that the Dragons played a better game than the last time they met Villanova on the field, thanks to her skilled teammates.
“I think Foothill has collected a lot of players from Buena and Ventura. We all get along really well and I think that helps us glue well and gel together,” Bedard said. “[W]e played better against them [Villanova] than we did last time and we connected more.”
The Thursday win against Villanova was also the final home game for the team’s three seniors, Robin Bedard, Nicole Napoli and Alexandria Ramirez, who were celebrated during the “Senior Night.”
Each was honored with a balloon, bouquet, and recognition in front of their teammates and the spectators after the game.
The seniors’ departure will be an emotional one, according to junior Sidney Shinsky.
“[W]e love our seniors, and we were happy to have them this year,” Shinsky said. “We’re going to miss them.”
Even with another win under their belts, the team looks forward to future games. White believes the team will face a challenge in their Feb. 9 rematch against Grace Brethren.
“[A]ll the coaches from the other teams are like, ‘You know, you’re carrying us on your back. Beat Grace!’ So that’s what our goal is,” White said.
“That’s obviously our rival, but they’re our biggest challenge in league, and we can measure our success up against our game with them. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Napoli, while proud of her teammates’ hard work, looks even further ahead than the rematch with Grace Brethren.
“I’m really proud of all the girls, and we’ve all worked really hard,” Napoli said. “We’ve all wanted one goal, and that’s to win league.”
Background Photo Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press