Things got physical and things got bumpy for both Turlock and Pitman’s varsity girls’ soccer teams who met on the pitch for the first time this season.
It was also the first time in school history that the girls’teams met on the pitch of Cal State Stanislaus, something that the boys had become familiar with, having played twice over the last two seasons.
“It was highly anticipated but I think some of our girls might have been nervous because we have a lot of newcomers as well,” said Turlock coach Temo Arteaga. “It was the first time many of them played against a rival school, so I am pleased with the score and effort we gave.”
“It was a tale of two halves. The second half we were much better and I believe in the first half we played, arguably, the worse since I have been here at Pitman,” said Pitman head coach Cris Castro.
Pitman outshot Turlock, 12-4, for the game.
But it was Turlock who scored first to break open the game after sophomore Leslie Salazar found an open corner for the goal in the 33rd minute of play.
Salazar gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead heading into the half before the Pride finally fought their way back into the game.
“Give credit where it’s due though because Turlock played a good game and they came out and played great from the get-go. Once they scored their goal it was tougher on us,” said Castro. “Just a different game in the first half and I think it was the big stage, might have been that.”
Pitman looked tense in the first half and once Turlock scored it looked as if the Pride were not going to let another slip-up occur.
Pitman went on to dominate possession in the second half, lingering with the ball on the Bulldogs half for a majority of the second half.
“I think as a team overall our goal was to play together and play as a team, we didn’t care about the score,” said Arteaga. “Our focus this year has been mostly on the defensive side, we played as a unit in the back-line, they were communicating and supporting each other, they were all doing a great job.”
Turlock made one attempt to attack in the second half and Pitman went on to attempt seven-plus shots in the half alone.
“It was the first time the girls were playing here, so some tension and anxiousness at first and we saw it,” said Castro.
At the 55th minute, Rayana Plancarte was able to find a crease in the defense after sprinting down the line about 40 yards to the top corner, only to strike a weak foot blast to the far corner for the game tying goal from just about 14 yards out.
Turlock and their defensive back line were able to fend off Plancarte and company for the remainder of the game.
Pitman goes to 2-0-3 and Turlock’s record goes to 3-1-1.
“I can’t remember a worse half than the first half we played today,” said Castro. “We still haven’t lost but we got a point instead of three.”
“We could not have done it without our defense, Natalia Campbell, Danielle Sousa, Meghan Hopkins and Vero Hernandez who has been great back there,” said Arteaga. “You add Jayden as the keeper and that helps us out. We’ve been able to put pressure on our opponents so far.”
Turlock’s next game will be on the road at Atwater at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The next game for Pitman will be against Golden Valley on the road at 4 p.m. Thursday.