By Alexis Cardenas ~ LAHS Journalism
Playing in their first tournament of the season, Varsity Girls Soccer competed against various high schools from the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire such as Rancho Cucamonga, Summit, Bonita, and Apple Valley in the Summit Tournament.
This tournament took place in Fontana at Ralph Lewis Sports Complex on November 27, 28, and 30. The girls played a total of four games with a record of 1-2-1.
The girls defeated Summit by a score of 3-0. This game was a major confidence booster for the girls and gave them a chance to play some beautiful soccer. Junior Alyssa Meza played as an outside defender throughout the tournament and took a lot away from it.
“In the game that we won, we clicked as a team and were able to pass around the ball really well,” said Meza.
The girls also tied against Bonita and Apple Valley 2-2. These two games were very frustrating for the girls to tie because they had opportunities to win both games. Junior Sophia Zepeda played as an outside defender throughout the tournament and felt confident in her teams abilities out on the field. “This tournament really helped us realize our strengths and weaknesses as a team. In those games that we tied I think we all realized that when we don’t work together as a team, we can’t work at all.”
Sophomore Malayna Mercado has played well early as she scored a free kick during the game against Bonita and increased her confidence as a rookie on the team. Although this is her first year playing on varsity, she has been playing strong and has shown she belongs on that field.
In their final game, the girls took a tough loss against Rancho Cucamonga 4-0. Senior Midfielder Olivia Baldenebro said, “ In the last game, we weren’t ready at all. Even though we were all tired, we should have come out with more energy and with more of a desire to win.”
Although the tournament did not turn out the way that they hoped, the team saw this whole tournament as something to learn from. Junior Alyssa Meza commented, “This tournament was a great experience for us as a team, and I think it really opened up our eyes to all the things that we need to work on before our regular season starts so that we can be successful. As a team, we just need to learn how to play with each other as a unit rather than individually and play for each other”.
Baldenebro also added, “Although this tournament was rough by the end of it, I still think this was a great tournament. It really built character for us as a team because we didn’t give up and were strong through it all. We just need to improve on working with each other and having a better flow of the game.”
Senior Captain Alexis Mendoza started in every game of this tournament as a central defender and fought for her team every second she played. Reflecting on the tournament and looking forward into this season, Mendoza said, “We came to this tournament with the expectation to win and see how we work as a team. This tournament was really just a learning experience for us. At the beginning of this tournament, our heads were in the right mindset, but by the last game our mindset was somewhere else and wasn’t on that field. I am glad that we struggled during this tournament because we now see where we are struggling and will be able to perfect it at practice.”
The team has their home opener on Tuesday vs. Rowland and then plays in the first game of the Sunny Hills Tournament at Corona Santiago on Wednesday.