Hilmar High junior Juliann Machado and freshman Emily Vieira each scored a goal as the Yellowjackets topped Orestimba, 2-0, in Tuesday’s home preseason contest.
“The effort has been great all year so far. Real solid, I mean the girls have stepped it up and they are playing together and doing it well. Obviously, from front to back we are playing well,” said Hilmar head coach Doug Delay.
The ‘Jackets were coming off a 1-3 record in the Pitman Pride Cup tournament this past weekend after facing off against multiple Division I teams in their five-team bracket.
“Coming off the Pitman tournament we were a bit tired,” said Delay. “But we worked hard yesterday and really wanted to come into this game and maintain possession, work the ball around and, obviously, we didn’t just want to knock it down the field and see how many goals we could score.”
Hilmar was able to blank the Orestimba attack for all 80 minutes.
The ‘Jackets held the Warriors to no shots for the entire game mainly due to the tremendous effort defensively from the back-line and an overall push they created by dominating possession of the ball.
Ainsley Wood, Madisen Petersen, Sarah Alvarez and Barros were the defenders for Hilmar in the back with goalkeeper Mikayla Schmidt.
It took just 14 minutes for Hilmar to break the 0-0 draw, once Machado saw an opening from about 20 yards out. She drilled a finesse shot to the far post and the ball went just past the goalkeeper's finger tips and into the back of the net.
Hilmar went into halftime with a 1-0 lead but were able to create over a dozen opportunities in the first half alone, in large part because of the outstanding performance from Vieira.
The freshman, who continued to press on the outside with her great footwork, finally got her goal in the second half at the 55 minute mark as her positioning led to her being right in front of the net and she just nudged it in with ease.
“When you look at Machado, Vieira and Hannah Sanders...they are the triple threat of striking the back of the net but obviously it takes a team effort,” said Delay. “And it takes a great back-line and full team effort and so far we have been doing it as best we can.”
The opportunities continued as Hilmar’s ability to keep control of the ball nearly resulted in multiple goals in the second half.
Tuesday's win snapped the Yellowjackets' two-game losing skid.
“We definitely created opportunities, but I never look at it as goals we scored defining our success,” Delay added. “I think success I would asses our communication and possession.
“The one thing I would definitely like to see is us playing quicker and that comes with more games played, so we need to keep working hard and keep the pace up, especially if we want to get far in league and aspirations of going further. We have to keep it up.”
The next game for Hilmar will be a home contest against Gustine at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.