The undefeated streak and winning season came to an abrupt end for the No. 3 Hilmar girls soccer team on Friday night in the Division-V Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal battle with No. 2 Capital Christian.
Capital Christian got on the board first in the opening 12 minutes, and continued to showcase their ability to maintain possession and score. Hilmar freshman Emily Vieira’s header at the 18th minute was the only offense for Hilmar, who was held scoreless for the remainder of the game while CC added one more before the half and another in second to secure the 3-1 win.
“It was a hard-fought match and very even matched as well on both sides and the difference was a few plays here and there,” said Hilmar head coach Doug Delay. “They possessed the ball very well; they play the same style we try to play and have played all season long.”
This time, unfortunately, it was CC who got the better result.
Once CC was on the scoreboard, the Yellowjackets retaliated after a set piece was perfectly played and set for Vieira who then headed in the 'Jackets only goal to tie it.
Just one minute later CC sprinted down the field and found the back of the net for the go-ahead score to lead 2-1 at halftime.
“I thought for the most part we played with them for most aspects of the game, they just made a couple more plays,” said Delay. “But we pushed till the end, our girls didn't give up and as a coach that is all I can ask for, very proud of the effort…it just wasn't enough, but it wasn't from a lack of effort.”
From there Hilmar was playing catch-up but CC didn't slow down the pace, they continued the high pressure and gradually increased it as the game wore on.
By the 54th minute, one of Hilmar's center backs—Caressa Barros—went down and never returned to the game. Betzy Chavez filled her shoes well, but CC's third goal was an unblockable shot that hit the upper corner at the 63rd minute to seal the deal.
Once Hilmar went down two goals, all bets were off and maintaining possession became key.
CC was able to fend off most of the attacks or chances created by Juliann Machado and Vieira.
Vieira almost found Hannah Sanders for a goal with five minutes left after a well-placed cross in the middle of the goalie’s box.
Unfortunately, the keeper came out for the save.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and we were up for the challenge. This will make us better for next year, it will drive us in the offseason,” said Delay. “Today they got us, but I am very proud of the effort and I thought it was one of the better matches we played all season long even though it wasn't a win.”
Hilmar ends the year with an overall record of 17-4-4 and lose for the first time since Dec. 10, 2016.
“We are very young. We had four freshmen and three sophomores on the squad this year and a lot of those girls played a lot of minutes this year,” said Delay. “I think it will give them the drive and it will make us hungrier in the offseason. They will come back next year and get better.”