For the first time since 2016, the Pitman High varsity girls soccer team defeated Turlock High, after the Pride managed to walk out of Joe Debely Stadium with a 2-1 win over the Bulldogs in their first meeting of the season.
“The girls had high intensity all game, which is good, and it is always that game when we play Turlock. These girls had a rough start, and these seniors wanted it more than ever since they never beat Turlock,” said Pitman head coach Annabel Perez. “So, this is the first time for them in I think almost four years. The girls wanted this, we have about 11 seniors, they really wanted this game.”
“In my mind, the game totally went the opposite way. We knew how they were going to play, but we can’t really practice what they do because they are two totally different and opposite styles,” said THS head coach Temo Arteaga. “When we start playing their way, we started to lose possession and you saw it, that is part of the game that we lost possession and we couldn’t do that since we were embedded in the game.”
The loss for Turlock is also their first CCAL defeat after they went 9-0-1 last year. Turlock had not lost a league contest since their 3-0 loss to Golden Valley on Feb. 2, 2018.
“It was a hard, tough lesson to learn. I prefer to learn this lesson now, and not in playoffs. I told the girls that this is just one lesson to learn, facing a team that is big, physical, strong and fast,” said Arteaga.
Turlock had the advantage over Pitman heading into the game. The last time Pitman defeated Turlock prior to Wednesday’s game was on May 5, 201,6 when Pitman won 2-0 over Turlock.
Following Wednesday’s game, Turlock’s record sits at 2-1 in the CCAL and 8-4-2 overall.
Pitman’s record is 11-4-1 and 3-0 in league.
“I am not really worried about league, just worried about the next game for now,” said Arteaga.
It took 12 minutes for Pitman to break the stalemate in Wednesday’s game after Sidney Cantwell found the back of the net to put her team up 1-0.
“Sidney Cantwell scored the first goal and we have been working on set pieces, last year we struggled to capitalize on them and this year it paid off and just a magnet with her head,” said Perez. “A header that bounced off, got blocked and Sidney finished it, great to have the finish.”
Pitman continued to press and hold on to possession for the majority of the first half as they went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
About a minute into the second half, Pitman began to press and Emily Alvarez snuck off a shot from inside the goalie’s box, but the shot hit the side net.
Sarah Sahagun of Pitman then put the Pride up by two scores when she was able to beat the last defender and gently rolled a soft shot into the far corner of the back of the net and the score read 2-0.
Turlock got on the board at the 74th minute when freshman Jenna Dean found the back of the net and cut the lead to 2-1.
That would be the last score as the game ended and the Pride bench cleared as they embraced the entire team with hugs and a loud uproar.
“I am extremely happy with the win, and happy with the set play and moving off the ball. I think the girls did great today, they stayed focused all game and stayed with it,” Perez added. “We have been doing well, when our injured players came back we were able to move things around and capitalize on some things. Every game is different, we win this one but we move on and the girls know they have to work on the rest of the season not just be okay with this win.”
“It is just a tough loss, but you have to play these games to learn from it. Hopefully we learn from this game and move on and we will see them again,” Arteaga added.
The next game for Pitman is a road contest at Gregori High at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Turlock’s next game is a home contest against Modesto High at 5 p.m. Wednesday.