BY ALISON CHURCH AND JALEN JENKINS
On December 10th, Benicia High school’s JV girl soccer team faced tough competition against the tough spirited Alhambra High school. Both teams fought courageously through the not- so-good conditions of that night. Not only did they withstand the cold, but they continued to play hard even when it began to rain. Teammates and coaches sat on the sidelines and never stopped shouting words of encouragement and supportive advice to those playing on the field. In the first half of the game, it started out a bit slow, and gradually picked up. By the rainy half time, neither side had scored any points. Benicia’s coaches instructed their players to communicate more with one another in order to work smoothly towards their end goal. The second half of the game is when the intensity really began to pick up. Not only did the communication between players grow louder and clearer, but the competitive spirit of both teams picked up as they sought to be the first to score the first point of the night. Although Benicia had many close calls with both the stadium and the coaches thinking they’d win a goal, in the end neither team scored any points; the game was determined an unlucky tie of 0-0.
According to ninth grader Greta Henning, the highlight of her night was the second half of the game, for she was “releasing the ball in good places at good times.” She felt the highlight for the team as a whole was also the beginning of the second half, because more than ever they were “passing the ball around, looking for through balls and open players, and communicating effectively.” The toughest challenge she and the team faced was “releasing the ball quick enough because their mid-fielders were fast and could get to Benicia easily.” She believes if the team had one thing to work on and take away from the night, it would be to not force the ball, and to look for open players more often. Ninth grader Amanda Swoboda felt that the team’s biggest challenge was not “communicating clearly enough in order to know who was passing where.” She summed up the game as “competitive, aggressive, and a great improvement in teamwork,” which was especially displayed in the second half of the game.
The Varsity Alhambra Bulldogs came into the game with a 3-0-0 record and Benicia had 2-0-1. Benicia took the lead in the first half when junior, Maddie Salinas, scored which made the score 1-0. Senior Gianni Roof said “Alhambra is a very good team with a good record… It was a pretty physical game.”
To begin the second half, Alhambra scored, tying the game up 1-1. Although the game was already physical, things escalated once the second half started. One player from each team got ejected following a heated altercation. This led to a majority of the second half being played by 10 players on each team instead of 11. There was no scoring throughout the rest of the game, keeping the final score to 1-1 and ending in a tie.
This was the toughest game of the season so far, but they have many games scheduled for this season to prepare for.