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Opener in the Cards

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 27th, 2012

Pajaro Valley High’s Alexandra Mondragon (11) battles for the ball with a Santa Cruz High player during the first half of their game Monday at Emmett Geiser Field at Watsonville High. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — The Santa Cruz High girls soccer team controlled the ball for a majority of its season opener and defeated Pajaro Valley 2-0 on Monday afternoon in the first round of the Watsonville Tournament at Emmett Geiser Field.

A year after starting the season with a loss in the same tournament, Pajaro Valley was unable to get anything going against the Cardinals.

“I liked that they were always on the ball, and they gave a lot of pressure,” Pajaro Valley coach Laura Diaz said about her team. “I didn’t like that they weren’t getting open on the attack, and the players recognized it after. We’ll work on that.”

Santa Cruz got on the board in the 27th minute after a foul. A Santa Cruz free kick about 30 yards away was booted away by a couple of Pajaro Valley defenders. But the ball didn’t go far, and Santa Cruz’s Mia Siracusa secured it. She had a couple of seconds to set up a 15-yard shot that just went under the crossbar and over the reach of the leaping Pajaro Valley goalkeeper.

After that goal, Santa Cruz pushed the tempo, keeping the ball in the Pajaro Valley side of the field for the final 13 minutes of the first half. The Cardinals got a corner kick in the 38th minute, but it didn’t result in anything.

Pajaro Valley had a few chances in the first half. It got the first shot attempt; in the third minute, Yuritzy Mondragon was pressured 35 yards from the goal, but still managed to fire a shot that just went above the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Berenice Mejia broke up a string of Santa Cruz passes and went with the ball the other way. The Santa Cruz defenders harassed Mejia until she let the ball go.

For the complete article see the 11-27-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-27-2012 paper.

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