The Coronado High School girl’s soccer team has been on a roll during the start of their 2022 season. With a record of 3-1-1 they have been showing many of the same qualities that took them to the CIF Championship last season.
However, their lone game of last week would be challenging as the girls in green and white would make their nearly hour-long trek up the five freeway to take on the Lancers of Carlsbad High School.
The very large DI program would perhaps serve as one of the Islander’s toughest tests early this season. And it would show early on.
For most of the season, the Islanders have been able to hang their hat on their superior attacking and ability to control possession. But on Thursday night, the script was flipped on them.
For nearly 20 minutes of the first half, Carlsbad seemed to be living in the Islander’s half of the pitch. With their favorite point to attack from coming down the right wing. With this much hold on time of possession, it would be fair to assume the Lancers would perhaps nab an early 1-0 or 2-0 lead.
Fortunately for the Islanders, their backline did not show any signs of intimidation. The combination of Jocelyn Jenkins, Giana Quijano, and Ava Worthy would lock down the Islander’s backline. The trio of Islanders constantly fended off dangerous balls sent in by Carlsbad to keep them off the scoreboard in the early minutes.
But it was Worthy’s performance that was maybe the most impressive. Constantly tested along the wing, Worthy must record upwards of six tackles and three steals to stop dangerous Lancer runs. Her play was essential in keeping things noted at 0-0.
With the stellar defensive play keeping up, the Islander’s attack would kick things into gear around the 23rd minute. Xiomara McKenna and Katlyn McGrath would blast shots just over the crossbar in the 24th and 27th, showing signs of life for this Islander’s attack.
Keeping the game tied at 0-0 heading to the break, Coronado would tally one more shot on goal in the 33rd minute off the right foot of Emily Kuite, but it would be saved. However, while the first half was dominated mainly by the Lancers and their attack, the second half would start with the Islanders giving them a taste of their own medicine.
Coronado would have three quality looks at the goal to start the half. Two shots are coming from McGrath and one from McKenna, and while all would be saved, it did show the Islander’s potent attack was back.
Then in the 55th minute, the Islanders would be presented with their best opportunity of the night. After McGrath was fouled just outside the box, Coronado set up for a free kick in a dangerous spot.
McGrath would step to take the kick, but she would instead tap it to Emily Kuite, a near carbon copy of the game-tying play from last year’s CIF Championship. However, in this game, Kuite’s shot was narrowly saved by the Lancer’s keeper to ensure things would be tied at 0-0.
The game for the next 10 minutes would remain relatively stagnant and appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw. But unfortunately for the Islanders, Carlsbad had other ideas. With just five minutes to play, the Lancers would find a goal that would be enough and give them a 1-0 victory.
While the loss is tough to swallow, it is the only blemish on the Islander’s record this season. Coronado will return to action after the New Year when they take on Mater Dei on January 5.
VOL. 112, NO. 51 - Dec. 21, 2022