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DOLPHINS RALLY TO TIE ROYALS

Just as the ND Royals appeared to make a statement win in girls soccer, the Southern Dolphins circled the wagon to score two goals in the final minutes to force a tie.

By Jose Terlaje

It looked like it was going to be a rained out game but the sun was out and bright at Leo Palace field as Notre Dame Royals looked to spoil the Southern High Dolphins’ undefeated streak in this IIAAG Girl’s Soccer matchup.

The match between the Royals and Dolphins ended up in a 2-2 tie with the Dolphins coming back in the second half after being down 2-0 with time running out. The Dolphins remained undefeated at 3-0-1 and the Royals stay even at 2-1-1.

Early in the match, neither team wasted any time and quickly went for shots on goal. The Dolphins were awarded a corner kick but were unable to get anything going. After a few traded possessions, the Royals were finally able to take control as they attempted to feed the ball to their striker, Destiny Castro.

Castro was able to breakaway but was stopped by the strong Southern defense. Just moments later though, a foul was called and a free kick was awarded to the Royals. Castro took the kick and was able to find the back of the net about 12 yards out from the goalie box to give ND a 1-0 lead.

The Royals tried to run on the momentum of a goal scored with Paris “Mames” Blas connecting with Castro for a shot that narrowly missed her mark. The Dolphins then stepped up their game and got into rhythm on offense. Southern High was able to control the midfield with April Talledo and Brittany Quinata constantly finding striker Colleen Naden who continued to test the ND keeper with a barrage of shots throughout the half but was unable to find the back of the net.

Southern Dolphins Colleen Naden legs up a long distance shot. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Southern Dolphins Colleen Naden legs up a long distance shot. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Dolphins kept the ball on their opponent’s side of the field for the remainder of the half, though unlucky in finding any goals. The half ended with the Royals leading 1-0.

In the second half, the Dolphins continued to keep the ball on the Royals’ side of the field but were unlucky as ND’s defense continuously denied any easy shots from being taken.

image001The Dolphins were able to keep possession of the ball with Therese Vaughn winning the ball in the air time and time again for her team, distributing it to her teammates and getting Southern’s offense going.

Talledo and Naden continued to take numerous shots on goal after receiving exceptional passes by Zoey Surber but were still unable to get past ND’s keeper, Johnalyn Santos.

The Royals’ Randi Paulino was solid in the midfield making attempts to get a rhythm going for her team offensively but was often stopped by the Dolphins’ defense.

Later after winning the ball from the Dolphins, the Royals made a quick counter attack, getting the ball to Mames Blas who was able to break away from the Southern defense and get a one on one with Southern’s goalie, sending a smooth grounder to the left corner of the goal, extending ND’s lead 2-0.

With only 15 minutes left in the half, the Dolphins were desperate to get back into the game. Southern’s Talledo took it upon herself to get her team on the board, weaving through the ND defense and getting an open shot that went straight past the Royal goalie, cutting ND’s lead 2-1.

Royals Destiny Castro made her season debut Saturday and wasted no time by scoring a goal in the opening 10 minutes. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Royals Destiny Castro made her season debut Saturday and wasted no time by scoring a goal in the opening 10 minutes. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

As the half came to a close, the Dolphins were giving everything they had to at least tie up the game. Luck was on their side as the Dolphins were awarded a free kick a few meters out from ND’s goalie box. The kick was taken by Surber who sent a powerful shot past the ND keeper, tying up the game at 2-2. The Royals tried to respond but were unable to get anything going as time in the half expired, ending the match in a draw.

“We can only build from here. Defense is our foundation. Our focus today was to play strong defense and not get beat by Southern’s high octane offense. We have to establish our defense first before we can move on to working with the midfield and then our strikers. We also just have to continue to move on in the season and forget about our past games in order to focus on our next opponents,” said ND Head Coach Cara Walsh when asked about what her team plans to work on after battling it out with very tough and talented Southern High team who has been blowing out their opponents this season until this match.

Walsh went on to say that she was proud of her team for giving it their all and being able to produce good results against a very solid Southern High.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Royals Mames Blas breaks away for what appeared to be a game-sealing score to go up 2-0. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Royals Mames Blas breaks away for what appeared to be a game-sealing score to go up 2-0. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Royals Randi Paulino charges down field through the Dolphin defense. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Royals Randi Paulino charges down field through the Dolphin defense. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Colleen Naden keeps the pressure on the Royals by firing shots from afar. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Colleen Naden keeps the pressure on the Royals by firing shots from afar. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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