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El Toro comes back strong with win over San Juan Hills
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Senior center back Kaiya McCullough is El Toro’s vocal leader and defensive rock.
Playing back-to-back league road games against two ranked opponents without the UCLA commit would be a challenge.
After surrendering the decisive goal with 30 seconds remaining on Tuesday against No. 8 Tesoro, El Toro’s girls soccer team rebounded for a crucial victory over San Juan Hills.
Allyson Fost broke a tie in the 55th minute, and the No. 10 Chargers defeated the fifth-ranked Stallions, 2-1, Thursday in a Sea View League game at San Juan Hills High.
The Chargers (10-2-5, 1-1-1) picked up a crucial victory after going winless in their first two league games. Kyleigh Burton, Savanna Hayes, and Makayla Norwood held the fort defensively in the absence of McCullough, who missed her second game while nursing a right knee injury.
“We believe that we can play with or without Kaiya,” Chargers coach Steve Van Dam said. “Kaiya is a great player. I think a win like this will show us, yes, she’s valuable, but we can do this. That was a good, positive momentum builder for us.”
Gwen Maly scored El Toro’s first goal on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute. Maliyah Medley’s pressure forced Jennifer McFadden to check the ball back to Yvette Belman. Medley advanced on Belman in the box, and after stealing the ball, forced the Stallions’ defender to pull her down.
“I was trying to figure out what the best way was to help my team succeed,” Medley said. “Getting fouled in the box was the best way in that position. I tried to get a foul, and it worked.
“If you don’t have aggression, it’s hard to win.”
McFadden was one of the stronger players for the Stallions (10-3-2, 1-1-0). She broke up several scoring chances, including a 2-on-1 break by Carmany Jones and Medley to start the second half.
Danielle Satterwhite tied the score, 1-1, in the 53rd minute. Helter-skelter play ensued. Both teams sensed their chance to take control.
After a Chargers corner kick was cleared out of bounds, Burton took a quick throw-in, sending the ball into the box where it came free to Fost.
“It was really just a bunch of adrenaline running through my body,” Fost said. “That’s the mentality that you need. Keep playing the game and don’t let it bug you.”