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Canyon reaches title match at Excalibur
SANTA ANA- The left and right foot of senior Taylor Alderete and a stifling defensive effort has put the Comanches one win away from raising the championship Excalibur sword.
Alderete scored a goal in both the first and second half, as Canyon blanked the Buena Bulldogs 2-0 in the semifinals of the 2011 Excalibur Tournament Thursday at Foothill High.
“Our team has played really well in this tournament and we’re really excited to be in the finals,” said Alderete. “We have confidence in each other and will just continue to take each game one at a time.”
Canyon (7-1-3) will face La Costa Canyon in the tournament championship match Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
“We look at the Excalibur tournament just like CIF, and if we want to win CIF, we have to come all the way here,” said Comanches coach Walter Camargo. “The girls have been training and preparing for this and they want it bad.”
The Comanches controlled the attack from the opening kick off and maintained possession throughout the middle and attacking third. They nearly took the lead four minutes into the match, but shots by Alderete and junior Camila Espindola-Villarino were stopped by Bulldogs goalie Rieanne Thomas.
Alderete put the first goal of the match on the board in the 17th minute. Receiving a pass down the right sideline, she took a quick dribble and booted a shot that sailed past Thomas and into the far post corner of the goal.
“I took a touch, looked up to where the goalie was, and hit it far post,” said Alderete.
Led by Megan Kisslan, Jamie Smith, Erin Copeland, and Mechelle Cabral, Canyon’s defense did not allow an extended Buena possession in the attacking third throughout the first half. The Bulldogs first shot of the match came with less than a minute remaining and was saved by senior goalie Daryl Bradley.
The Comanches methodical possession-styled attack continued to yield pressure to start the second half, as they were able to penetrate the Bulldogs defense with deep runs toward the goal.
Alderete added her second goal of the match in the 52nd minute. Angling a run from the sideline back to the middle of the field, she uncorked a left-footed shot that floated over the head of Thomas and hit the crossbar before bouncing into the net.
Comanches freshman goalie Meredith Hummel helped seal the victory moments later, as she stopped a corner kick scoring opportunity with a fully extended diving save to her left.