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SAL meeting: Delhi ties Denair in girls soccer
Delhi v. Denair soccer 4
Denair and Delhi Highs varsity girls soccer teams met for the first time this season and the end result was a 1-1 draw. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Denair and Delhi met on the soccer pitch on Thursday afternoon to continue league play in the Southern Athletic League.

Denair went up with an early goal from Janet Garcia at the 17th minute but failed to sustain their intensity for the remainder of the contest.

Delhi continued to battle and in the second half, Amandeep Sandhu managed to tie the game, just 13 minutes into the second half and the Hawks were able to hold on for the 1-1 draw.

“I think one of the things is we have the talent but we haven’t synced in yet,” said Delhi head coach Armando Salazar. “They stepped it up and scored in the second half and morale went up and played a little bit better.”

“Unfortunately it looks like we did lose momentum and we were not getting on the end of our chances and we lost that momentum,” said Denair head coach Cherie Gresham. “And our aggressiveness slowed down and that is why Delhi got their shot off.”

It was the tale of momentum for this game after both sides were coming off league opening losses.

Both sides looked like a mirror image of one another, each contesting one another as if the matchup was perfect.

“From previous games we played and beaten so badly, I think they played good and Denair is also similar to our style as well so I thought it would be even,” said Salazar. “I just hope they realize there is more to it than just kicking the ball.”

Delhi struggled to secure possession of the ball in the opening minutes as Denair attacked with Litzy De la Cruz and Janet Garcia up top but it wasn’t until 17 minutes in when Denair scored first.

After Denair clinched their go-ahead goal, they remained atop for about 40 minutes.

“I feel being able to keep the momentum for the entire 80 minutes is important, but we picked it up at the start of the half then we died down near the end,” said Gresham. “Not sure if it’s a fitness thing or if it’s the drive and desire to be complacent with a one-goal lead, but we will work on our intensity and hopefully we can keep it up next game.”

Delhi was able to find an opportunity at about the 53rd minute, when Sandhu found a ricochet shot that landed in her possession and she drilled the shot behind the net as the ball flared past goalkeeper Selena Ortiz of Denair for the tie.

“Our passing is not there yet,” Salazar added. “We had many passes but they weren’t as accurate and they seem to just pass it away with pressure so we are still working on relaxing and looking for open players since they are still nervous for now.”

“We are starting to learn to work together and make better passes to create those chances, so the more we practice then I just see us getting stronger and hopefully that happens,” Gresham added.

Denair’s next game will be at home against Le Grand at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Delhi will host Le Grand at 4 p.m. Thursday.