No. 10 Los Alamitos fights back to tie Long Beach Wilson
LOS ALAMITOS- Though victory ultimately eluded the Los Alamitos Griffins, head coach Steve Soler took solace in the competitive spirit and the proper execution of key adjustments that his team displayed in shaking off a slow start and early deficit against a quality opponent.
Senior Raya Young tallied the match-tying goal late in the first half, as the Griffins and the Long Beach Wilson Bruins played to a 1-1 tie in Pool G match of the 2012 Aliso Cup at Laurel School.
“Long Beach Wilson is a really good team and they came out with the intensity that we were looking for with our girls,” Soler said. “We came out flat, but started to make some adjustments in the second half, pressured them, and didn’t give them the same kind of time to collect, receive, and play.”
The match was originally scheduled to be played on Monday at Long Beach Wilson, but due to recent rains, the field was deemed not fit for competition and the match was rescheduled and moved to the Griffins’ home field.
It was the second time in two days that the Bruins played a ranked county team to a draw, as they tied No. 9 Orange Lutheran 0-0 in Tuesday's tournament opener.
Long Beach Wilson opened the match with heavy pressure and took a 1-0 lead in the second minute. Off a deep penetrating run down the sideline, junior Claire Oates sent a crossing pass into the middle of the field for senior Loren DeMeideros, who corralled the pass and booted a shot to the right of Griffins junior goalie Savannah Sickler and into the corner of the goal.
Los Alamitos (1-0-1) gradually began to find attacking lanes later in the first half, as junior Phoebe Conrad and senior Rachel Price led the Griffins’ first sustained possessions into the Bruins' attacking third.
Conrad produced the Griffins first quality scoring opportunity in the 17th minute, but her shot was corralled by Bruins goalie Samantha Moreno.
The Griffins increased offensive pressure yielded the match equalizer in the 32nd minute. Junior Sarah Sanger slipped a well-placed crossing pass through the middle of the field to a sprinting Young, who hit a hard line drive shot to the left of Moreno and into the near post corner of the goal for her third goal of the season.
In the 44th minute, the Bruins had a go-ahead goal taken away by an offside call.
The Griffins attack began to find openings in the Bruins’ defense later in the second half, but Moreno made key saves down the stretch to thwart Los Alamitos from converting their chances into scoring.
Los Alamitos had one final scoring chance in the 79th minute, as sophomore Krystal DeRamos found room to get off a hard line drive shot toward the far post corner of the goal. But Moreno preserved the tie by making an extended dive to her right to prevent the ball from finding the back of the net.
“Coach Soler made some adjustments and went to a more direct game which pushed the ball back into our defensive half,” Bruins coach Dalton Kaufman said. “Their goal gave them a lot of momentum and they came at us hard in the second half. This tournament is a learning curve for us will give us a chance to see what we have and to try different line-ups.”
Los Alamitos will host Orange Lutheran on Thursday in the final game of pool play.
"These games are building blocks for us and playing with that mentality of always giving good effort will take us a long way," Soler said.