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
“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