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The Hornet

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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Sunny Hills’ defense too much for Lady Raiders

The Sunny Hills Lady Lancers capitalized on two set-piece scoring opportunities to beat the Sonora Lady Raiders 2-0 and bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat against Troy.
Sonora came out strong and came close to taking the lead in the first few moments of the game.
In the opening minutes of the game a cross into the Lady Lancers penalty box was met by a Sonora player in front of the Lady Lancers goal.
The Sonora players close range strike looked to be heading into the Lancers goal but a well timed dive by Lady Lancers goalkeeper Desiree Mercado deflected the ball out of bounds for a corner kick.
A few minutes after nearly going down the Lady Lancers were able to put one past Sonora.
Sunny Hills midfielder Kendall Hart stepped up to take a free kick right outside Sonora’s penalty box and delivered.
The Senior gave the Lady Lancers an early lead when she perfectly placed her free kick strike into the corner of the Lady Raiders goal.
Even though the Lady Raiders (10-9-1, 4-3) were tasked with trying to tie the game after the goal, a large portion of the first half was played in Sonora territory.
The Lady Lancers (15-3-4, 4-1-2) pinned Sonora into having to be on the defense. The Lancers controlled the ball and continually went on the attack.
Sonora was plagued with turnovers throughout the half.
Sonora attempted to build offensive play through long passes to forwards in many instances in the half, but Sunny Hills defenders made the strategy largely ineffective by preventing the passes from reaching their intended targets on most occasions.
At points in the half the Lady Raiders were able to keep possession and make build up plays in the Lady Lancers half but only mustered a few crosses and shots that were not as clear or close as their first attempt in the game.
The early minutes of the second half saw the Lancers came close to extending their lead when a cross into the Sonora penalty box was deflected by goalkeeper Kat Armstrong.
The deflection was met by Hart, who had made a run into the box, a few feet in front of the goal but her touch on the ball sent it away from the net.
Strong defensive play kept both sides offenses ineffective throughout most of the second half.
Clearances by both teams defenders were a constant sight in the half and compact defensive play made it so that neither team could breakthrough for clear chances on goal.
In what was an mostly evenly matched second half, the game went from being almost equalized to settled within a matter of minutes.
In what was the Lady Raiders best chance of the second half, a mid range strike by midfielder Katie Leadbetter aimed at the top corner of the net forced Lady Lancers goalkeeper Monica Balos, who entered the game after halftime, into making a jumping effort to send the ball over for a corner kick.
Moments later Sunny Hills forward Sierra Chhoeung made her way into Sonora’s penalty box after receiving a pass from Hart.
As Chhoeung neared the endline she was pushed to the ground by Sonora defender Lili Irizabal.
A penalty was given to the Lady Lancers and forward Emily Miramontes stepped up to take the spot kick.
Miramontes buried her penalty strike into the net and past Armstrong, who reacted too late to block it.
After Sunny Hills doubled its lead both teams returned to previous form and were unable to break through the others defense.
“It was just a game of missed opportunities, I think we had a couple opportunities to score goals and we just couldn’t put it in and they got their opportunities and they put them in,” said Sonora Head Coach Cory Witt, whose team’s Senior day celebration was not lessened by the loss.
“I think the girls did a fantastic job,” said Sunny Hills Head Coach Jeff Gordon, and later when asked about the team’s success on set plays said “Set plays are what Sunny Hills are known for.”
Sonora will next see Freeway League action on Friday when they host league leaders Troy. Sunny Hills takes on La Habra at home on Tuesday.