Revenge is a dish best served cold. The top-seeded Strathmore High School varsity girls’ soccer team did just that in their CIF Central Section Division IV final against second-seeded Bakersfield Christian, the team that eliminated them in the semifinals last year.
This year however, would be a much different story. The Lady Spartans literally made it rain in their 5-1 routing of the Lady Eagles at Spartan Stadium on Friday night.
Bakersfield Christian simply had no answer for the relentless attack that Strathmore was able to sustain for the entire game. Most of Strathmore’s team have been playing together for a large portion of their young lives, and whatever questions their head coach Hector Gonzalez had about his young group heading into the season have been emphatically answered.
For a group that was in their first final game, none of the Strathmore girls looked intimidated by the taller team from Bakersfield. In fact, the Lady Spartans were the clear aggressors in the first half of the game, as their crew of “super sophomores” proceeded to fire volley after volley of shots at the Bakersfield Christian goal. The Lady Eagles were in defensive mode for the entire half, and save for a few counterattacks, the ball stayed on their side of the pitch as the Lady Spartans dominated possession
Sophomore Zaina Ilyas struck first on a beautiful corner kick that rebounded off one of the Lady Eagles’ players and found its way into the goal, giving Strathmore the lead with 27 minutes left in the first half. After the ice was broken, Strathmore’s offensive juggernauts began to break loose, as sophomores Taylor Alkire and Samantha Oliveira were all over the pitch. Alkire scored two more goals for the Lady Spartans in the first half. The first came on a breakaway, after she able to get behind the Lady Eagles’ back line, and the second came after she controlled a volley in the middle of Bakersfield Christians’ 18-yard box and kicked a rocket straight into the net. Alkire ended her game one goal short of the hat-trick, but picked the right night to play one her best games of the season.
“I just feel ecstatic. I just came out here and kept kicking,” Alkire said after the game. “We wanted to win for (Joe Oliveira). We had to plan to win for him and this was all for Joe.”
Oliveira, Strathmore’s ace goal scorer, came close all game and finally hit paydirt midway through the second half, after breaking free for a one-on-one opportunity with Bakersfield Christians goalie, to put her team up 4-1.
“Honestly, this feeling I have is indescribable,” Oliveira said. “I don’t even know what to say. We came together this year, and even though we’re always the underdogs, we came in and we dominated.”
Desperation forced the Lady Eagles to resort to different tactics in the second half, and they were able to score their only goal of the game five minutes into the half.
Bakersfield Christian tried to bully Strathmore around in the second half, which resulted in two of their players getting red carded, forcing the Lady Eagles to play two girls down with just over 17 minutes left in the game.
Strathmore junior Rosalinda Platas, who played on the team that lost to the Lady Eagles in the semis last year, scored the dagger after nailing a penalty kick that sent the Lady Eagles’ goalie skyward.
“This win really means a lot,” Platas said. “We’re all like a family. We have each other’s back no matter what, and I love all of these girls.”
After the game Gonzalez stepped back and let his team enjoy the victory, looking on like a proud father.
“The game was awesome. We knew they were going to come and take it to us,” Gonzalez said. “But we were ready. We did what we did all year. Touch the ball side to side and moved the ball back and forth, and they just couldn’t stand the pressure. We went out and got after it.”
With the Section Division IV title under their belts, it will now be up to the CIF powers as to whether or not the Lady Spartans will be able to continue their magical season in the State playoff bracket.
If not, Strathmore will be content with the Valley crown and a final record of 20-2-1.
It was the third Valley title for Strathmore under Gonzalez. They also won it all in 2009 and 2012.
Score by Halves
BCHS: 0 1 - 1
SHS : 3 2 - 5
Goals: Strathmore - Taylor Alkire, 2; Samantha Oliveira, Rosalinda Platas, Zaina Ilyas
Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2015 6:00 am
BY TRENTON LIVELY email@example.com
Granite’s girls’ basketball team fell victim to Strathmore Tuesday night as they were defeated 69-37. After ending the East Sequoia league with a 5-4 record, the Spartans will advance to the Central Section Division IV playoffs while the Grizzlies fell to 3-6.
After their last league face-off resulted in a two point difference, both teams came in ready for battle. Though their rivalry did not prove worrisome for the teams, both had acquired a total of ten fouls each by the end of the first half.
Strathmore’s defense applied heavy pressure throughout the night which cut off many scoring opportunities for the Grizzlies. Strathmore was able to dominate the Grizzlies early on and led 36-18 at the half.
Spartan coach Richard Miranda commented, “We made some changes after the first time we faced them. We just weren’t extending out, but after reviewing the game we made those changes this time around.”
Despite the Spartans’ heavy defense, the lady Grizzlies were able to sink some of their shots with Yanin Cervantes sinking 11 points in addition to her eight rebounds. Ruby Espinoza was also able to rack up 12 points for the Grizzlies.
Senior Kandace Gurrola proved valuable for the Spartan offense as she netted a total of 25 points, with 21 of those being from 3 point range. Sophomore Mariah Hernandez added 21 points for the Spartans.
Miranda feels the rivalry between Strathmore and Granite will continue for years to come as both teams are fairly young this season.
In addition, Miranda said, “My girls knew what they had to do, they were motivated and focused and knew we wouldn’t make it to playoffs if they didn’t come out with a win tonight.”
Local couple accompanies son's team to Super Bowl
The Seaman family vacation took things to a new level earlier this month.
Pastor Dale Seaman of Porterville’s Calvary Baptist Church and his family were fortunate enough to tag along with their son, Tim Seaman, and his Boron High School Bobcats varsity football team during their all-expense paid trip to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz.
Tim Seaman, the head coach at Boron, entered his team in the NFL’s Together We Make Football (TWMF) contest for a trip to this year’s Super Bowl and won.
Pastor Seaman, his wife Jane and their two other sons, Phil and Josh, were able to sign on as official team sponsors and accompany Tim and his team throughout their once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Seaman family and the Bobcats traveled to Arizona in style, riding around in the NFL TWMF bus that picked everyone up in front of Boron High on the morning of Jan. 29 .
“When that bus pulled up it was unbelievable,” Pastor Seaman said. “Everywhere we went people [stopped to take a look], because this was the bus that was taking us around town to all of the different events.”
While the culminating event of the trip for the team was the Super Bowl, the Bobcats had a full calendar of special NFL-sponsored events leading up the game.
When the Bobcats arrived the Thursday evening before the big game, they were the honored guests at the NFL Films Documentary premier on the Bobcats and their community of Boron. Pastor Seaman said that the players got to meet some past and present NFL greats like Deon Sanders and Troy Polamalu. Pastor Seaman said that he personally had a friendly conversation with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The following morning Tim and his team appeared on the “Today Show” and took pictures with the Seahawk and Patriot cheerleaders. Afterwards they took a trip to the Phoenix Convention Center to check out the NFL experience, where the floors were filled with professional football memorabilia and special displays including the Lombardi trophy. That same day The Seaman family and the team had lunch at the Legends Lounge, where 15 NFL Hall of Famers waited to meet and hang out with the team. The Bobcats capped off their second night by heading to Luke Air Force Base in Glendale for a VH1-sponsored concert.
On the third day the Bobcats had a special visit from San Diego Charger great LaDainian Tomlinson during lunch. “He ate with the kids and visited with them for almost an hour, just talking football,” Pastor Seaman said.
That night the Seamans and the Bobcats attended their special red-carpet event filled with the some of the biggest names in the game, like Troy Aikman, Odell Beckham Jr, Larry Fitzgerald and many more. In addition, the NFL spared no expense in providing the best viewing experience possible for the Bobcats by securing first-rate special access tickets right off the 50-yard line, about two or three rows back.
“I was impressed how far the NFL was willing to go for these boys,” Pastor Seaman said. “Everything was first-class, and those kids saw the human side of the NFL. The players were so gracious and kind.”
According to Tim Seaman, many of his players had never been to a college game, or outside the limits of Kern County, so this experience was truly life changing for them.
“I was a youth pastor for 13 years, so I’ve traveled with groups all the time, and those kids were one of the best,” Pastor Seaman said. “They behaved themselves, they had proper respect, and I was very impressed with them.”
After defeating Granite Hills earlier in the week and securing a playoff birth, the Lady Spartans varsity basketball team made a good argument for a decent seed in the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs by beating their rival Lady Cardinals of Lindsay 49-46 at home on Thursday.
With the win, Strathmore finishes East Sequoia League play with a 6-4 record and a 14-11 overall all record. Lindsay finishes ESL play at 5-5 and 11-14 overall and is at the mercy of the CIF committee as to whether they are deserving of a Central Section Division III playoff birth.
For Strathmore, Mariah Hernandez paced her team with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Teammate Kathy Rodriguez netted 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Also for Strathmore, Yadira Arrealano posted eighth points, six rebounds and two blocks, and Valeria Romero bagged 13 rebounds, two blocks and three steals in the winning effort.
Score By Quarter
LHS: 8 8 13 17 - 46
SHS: 13 14 9 13 - 49
Points: Strathmore - Mariah Hernandez, 18; Kathy Rodriguez, 11.
Rebounds: Strathmore - Valeria Romero, 13.
The No. 1 seed Lady Spartans of Strathmore High took care of business in their first CIF Central Section Division IV playoff game against eighth-seeded Kingsburg, defeating the Lady Vikings 6-3 at home on Thursday.
Strathmore’s leading goal scorer Samantha Oliveira picked up where she left off in the regular season, going on a tear and scoring four goals in the game. Oliveira and teammate Taylor Alkire have been the offensive juggernauts for the Lady Spartans all year, making up the bread and butter of their teams quick strike offense.
Alkire also had a goal of her own a quarter of the way through the second half, when she kicked a laser from the top of Kingsburg’s 18-yard box that found its way into the goal, to put her team up 4-1.
Andrea Murguia would put the game on ice for Strathmore, netting the sixth and final goal for her team, on a beautiful backwards volley from Alkire on the assist.
The story of the game however, was Oliveria and her unstoppable play for Strathmore. She got it done any way she could, and scored her final goal on a header after a free kick.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” Oliveira said. “Sometimes we didn’t play to our full intensity, but it's a win. We’re the number one seed and we’re favored to win (throughout), so [we have] to do our job, and play well at home.”
The Lady Spartans did give up some goals to Kingsburg, letting them get within striking distance late in the first half, after a beautiful corner kick by Daisy Vicuna. The Lady Vikings were also able to put up two more in the second half. However, the goals came after the Lady Spartans padded their lead by five more scores, and Strathmore Head Coach Hector Gonzalez decided to put in the reserves.
“Kingsburg is a quality team, and they play in a tough league,” Gonzalez said. “I just want to give a shot out to my defense though. We hardly ever mention them because they don’t get a lot of action, but my goalie Judith Uribe, she does a good job all the time. [Also], Ally Holloway, Zaina Ilyas and Natalie Rico,” Gonzalez continued. “They play hard. It’s just amazing, these girls are young but they’re out here to give it 100 percent.”
The Lady Spartans will now turn their attentions to No. 4 seed Taft, who they will host in their semifinal game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Score By Halves:
KHS: 1 2 - 3
SHS: 2 4 - 6
Goals: Strathmore - Samantha Oliveira, 4; Taylor Alkire; Andrea Murguia.
Scores of people, both runners and walkers, took part in the “Love Our Kids” Valentine’s Day Run.
The event at the Porterville Sports Complex Feb. 14 benefited the planned Strathmore Boys and Girls Club.
Overall winners were Vanessa Carroll and Dr. Timothy Suorsa.
In the 12-and-under division, finishing first were Nadia Salcedo for girls and Jose Menses for boys. Finishing second were Sareena Lemus and Nicholas Martinez.
In the 13-16 age group, taking first were Cheyenne Breer and Jack Suorsa. Taking second were Ayline Ruiz and David Ayala.
In the 17-25 age group, taking first were Kimberly Eaton and Edward Torrejas and placing second were Savanah Ertl and Andrew Lopez.
In the 26-35 age group, finishing first were Carroll and Raul Rodriguez. Placing second were Elva Ayala and Eric Abbott.
In the 36-50 age group, taking first were Lisa Coorough and Dr. Timothy Suorsa and finishing second were Elva Ayala and Eric Abbott.
In the 50-plus age group, taking first were Lucy Vidal and Larry Jasper. Finishing second were Kathy Russell and Phil Kelly.
The Strathmore Spartan Cheerleading Squad is looking for all of you former Spartan Cheerleaders out there! The squad is preparing for Homecoming, which is the weekend of May 1st - 3rd, and would like to get together with as many former Spartan Cheerleaders as possible to prepare a presentation for that weekend. Please CONTACT US HERE to get in touch with the current Cheer Squad.
The Spartans varsity basketball team slips to 3-5 in the East Sequoia League with their 62-52 loss to Corocoran. The Spartans must win their two remaining league games against Granite Hills and Lindsay next week to have any shot at making the postseason.
Kilon Bradford and the red hot Grizzlies will be looking to spoil the party for Strathmore when they meet at Granite next week on Feb. 10.
Score By Quarter
CHS : 16 19 7 20 - 62
SHS : 12 11 13 16 - 52
Points: Strathmore - Jr. Cisneros, 15; Carlos Lopez, 12; Alonzo Valle, 10.
When Strathmore High’s girls soccer program joined the East Sequoia League in 2008, there were many in the ESL who felt that Strathmore was too small of school to be in there.
Seven years and six EYL titles later, those sentiments have changed.
The Lady Spartans clinched first place in the EYL for the fourth year in a row on Thursday, defeating Woodlake High 4-1 on their home pitch. Woodlake is the only other school in the EYL to win a league title since Strathmore came over from the East Sierra League.
For Strathmore Head Coach Hector Gonzalez and the rest of his team, this year’s title run will always hold a special place in their hearts. Gonzalez added eight talented sophomores to his varsity roster this year, and knew he had a good team, but was’t sure what to expect from his squad heading into the season.
Tragically, about a month into the campaign— right as the winter break was about to begin - sophomore Samantha Oliveira’s father passed away after a traffic accident.
Oliveira stayed on with the Lady Spartans, and continued to play. Since Jan. 8, the Strathmore girls have been on a 10 game winning-streak, out-scoring their opponents 70-6.
The Lady Tigers came into Thursday’s game sitting in second place in the EYL with a 4-1-2 league record, and had to come away from Strathmore with a win if they were to have any hope of catching up.
Strathmore opened up play with a quick goal from junior Rosalinda Platas in the first minute. However, Woodlake was able to answer and tie the game at 1-1 after Lady Spartans’ goalie Judith Uribe got caught too high up in her box, allowing Woodlake’s strikers to get in behind her.
The game remained tied at 1-1 heading into the half, which was a situation the Lady Spartans had not been in, in quite a while. However, the second half would be a different story, as Strathmore’s relentless pressure on the Lady Tigers’ half of the pitch eventually took its toll.
The Lady Spartans added three goals in the second half, holding Woodlake to none. Taylor Alkire put her team ahead 2-1 early on, and Platas got her second goal of the game on a penalty kick.
Strathmore was finally able to capitalize on one of the numerous corner kicks, for their fourth goal. Alkire sent a beauty right to her teammate Vanessa “Trigger” Lopez, who headed the ball perfectly into the back of net, to secure the win and the league title for her team.
Oliveira suffered an early injury, but was able to get back onto the pitch and finish the game with her teammates.
“Honestly, this team has been there for me ever since everything happened, and I can’t thank them enough,” Oliveira said. “They dedicated this season to my dad, and I just hope that (we do well) for the rest of season, and have a good run in the playoffs to get that Valley ring.”
Strathmore still has to play Sierra Pacific at home on Feb. 10 and closes out the regular season at Corcoran High on Feb. 12.
“This means a lot because we’re a small school,” Gonzalez said. “Some said that we shouldn’t be in this league because we were to small, and didn’t have what it takes to win. That was many years ago, but now we’ve proved that we belong in this league.” Gonzalez continued, “But this year, especially with Sam and her father passing away, everybody decided that it was going to be a special season. We knew we had a good team before that, but it seemed like everyone turned it up a notch.”
With the win, Strathmore advances to 16-2-1 on the season and 8-0 in the EYL, while Woodlake slips to 7-6-2 overall and remains in second place at 4-2-2.
Score By Halves
WHS: 1 0 - 1
SHS : 1 3 - 4
Goals: Strathmore - Rosalinda Platas, 2; Taylor Alkire; Vanessa Lopez
Posted: Friday, February 6, 2015 6:00 am
BY TRENTON LIVELY firstname.lastname@example.org
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