Pitman High junior Rayana Plancarte scored two goals in the second half of Thursday's game as the Pride controlled the tempo for the remainder of the contest and shutout their Central California Conference foe, Atwater, 2-0.
Temperatures rose to the mid 80s making the weather a factor in the game, but the Pride were able to prevail with the help of their captain — Plancarte.
“I am actually really sick and my allergies are killing me and my nose is plugged so it was hard to breathe and play at the same time so I was gassed and it was hard,” Plancarte said. “I was always taught by my parents to keep on grinding and fighting under any circumstances and just give it all you got.”
“She played pretty much the entire game except for the last few minutes since she needed a break,” Pitman soccer coach Cris Castro said about Plancarte. “Anytime you have her playing then there is a good chance that something good will happen and it did.”
It wasn't until the second half that the Pride were able to notch both scores after a stalemate in the first half.
With the temperatures reaching their peak by the start of the game, Pitman also had to play with only two substitutes, as opposed to Atwater's deeper bench.
“I know it’s hot for Atwater as well,” Castro said. “We had two subs so it made it difficult and the girls were tired so when you have a two person rotation then it makes it harder. The girls played well and so did Atwater.”
About 13 minutes into the second half, Plancarte notched her first goal of the game after sliding and sprinting past the defender and inside the 15 yard mark to the far post, beating the goalkeeper and putting the Pride up 1-0.
“I feel like the weather had a big impact on the game and we just needed to get used to it and soon as we got used to it we began to play better,” said Plancarte. “As the games go on we are getting better and we are learning to play together still since we are obviously so young.”
Not even five minutes later, the Pride made their second score. With the help of Meghan Robinson and Alexis Castro, Plancarte was able to snag a rebound after Robinson’s shot was saved, and she drilled it in for the second and final goal of the game to give the Pride their second league win of the year thus far.
“Anytime you get a league win its nice, especially since our last win was against Atwater, so it’s nice to get one — period — especially on a day like this where it is so hot,” Castro said.
As of Thursday, Pitman is tied with Buhach Colony in the CCC for third place at 2-3-1.
“Despite all the injuries and players competing in other sports we have still been competitive through it all and that’s what I expected and that’s the most important bottom line,” said Castro. “We will take the win and we have a tough game coming up against Turlock and that will be a big game for us.”
Pitman will meet with cross town rivals, Turlock High at Joe Debely at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“I feel confident about our team but still it will be a good match,” Plancarte added.