Turlock and Pitman High met for the first time this season Tuesday afternoon as girls from both schools assembled at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. After 90 minutes of effort neither the Bulldogs (4-0-1 CCC) nor the Pride (3-0-2 CCC) walked away with a win. The final score was 1-1.
"We wanted to come onto the field and play hard," Turlock's head coach Cathi Schali-Lopez said. "We always expect a good match from our hometown rival"
"We planned on playing the soccer we know, knock the ball around, look for space and take some shots," Pitman's assistant head coach Cesar Mercado said.
The first half of Tuesday's matchup was scoreless as both teams exhibited their defensive skills. Things didn't heat up until the second half when Isabel Souza scored in the 61st minute with the help of a Morgan DeLay assist. Souza delivered a powerful kick, sending the ball just over the hands of Pitman's Sierrah Miller, for the go ahead goal.
Pitman responded almost immediately, however, and in similar fashion. In the 68th minute Marissa Marable took a Marissa Rouse pass, switched the ball from her left foot to her right, and sent a powerful shot over the head of Turlock's Ashlan Kuntz to tie the game.
"We're fully confident in our squad. We know at any minute we can score," Mercado said. "This was one of those 80 minute games."
Both Turlock and Pitman had opportunities to win the game with less than five minutes to go. The Pride had their shot first when Miranda Davis, alone with the goalie, booted the ball towards the net from only yards away. Kuntz dove to her right and snatched the ball as she fell to the ground, denying Pitman its chance at victory.
A few minutes later Turlock had its shot as a Cayla Donahue corner kick sent the ball to Carissa Lopez whose shot struck and bounced off the crossbar, missing the net by mere inches in the final seconds of regulation.
"It was a nail biter right until the end and I don't anticipate it being different all season long," Schali-Lopez
Pitman's next game will be against Golden Valley at home on Thursday. As for Turlock, its girls will face the Thunder on Thursday when they travel to Buhach Colony High.