By JASMINE ROSALES
Citrus Valley High School’s girls’ varsity soccer team circle up and begin their cheer to pump each other up before kickoff (Courtesy of Mike Mccue)
Since Dec. 1, 2021, the soccer season at Citrus Valley High School has been underway. From preseason to league, the soccer girls have worked hard during their practices. From 6 a.m. to after school practices, they are dedicated to crushing every game.
At the beginning of the league, the varsity team felt they had a target on their back after being the top team in their district and back-to-back Citrus Belt League champions. Starting off with preseason, everyone worked on strengthening weak points.
The first league game for Citrus Valley was Jan. 5 at Cajon High School. The Blackhawks came out strong with a win of 7-1. With another away game against Redlands East Valley High School on Jan. 7, the team again took the win against the Wildcats with a 3-0 victory.
The third game of the league and the first home game of the season was against their rival Yucaipa High School. The Thunderbirds and Blackhawks battle it out on the pitch. Citrus Valley comes out hard from the start and wins the game against YHS 3-1 with a goal from Blackhawk senior Lindsey Chau, junior Natalie Thoe and sophomore Sasha Mezcua.
After their third consecutive win, varsity girls made their way to Terrier town against Redlands High School. Working together, the Blackhawks scores ten goals on the scoreboard and earns a final score of 10-1.
Teammates No. 10 Lindsey Chau, No. 15 Vanessa Alcala celebrate with No. 8 Elizabeth Northcott after scoring a goal against the Terriers. (Courtesy of Hung Chau)
The team followed up with a home game against Beaumont, finishing against the Cougars with a win of 3-1. Wrapping up the first round of games, Citrus Valley girl’s varsity held a streak of five wins.
Round two brought each team head-to-head one more time, starting from the top Citrus Valley had a home game against Cajon. Cajon comes in strong while Citrus Valley matches up and plays strategically. Through teamwork, they came out on top and beat the Cowgirls 2-1.
The following week, Citrus Valley went head-to-head against the Wildcats on Wednesday Jan. 26. The teams battles it out and approximately 80 minutes later, the Blackhawks are victorious beating REV 3-0. Shutting out the Wildcats and keeping their league record undefeated.
With a challenging game ahead of them, Assistant Varsity Coach Allen Thoe said, “We used our recordings of the games and watch the film before practice. We mainly use this to devise what system we will be using, in this case, we went with a 4-3-3, but we also use it to highlight any specific players to watch out for.”
After filming and taking note of what needs to be brought to attention, the team traveled to Yucaipa. The girls warmed up and got pumped up for the game. With a hard battle from both defenses and shots on goal from offense, Citrus Valley kicked five goals into the back of the net. Pushing through and using their studying from the previous practice, the girls find the weak points and use it to their advantage to break through and win against the Thunderbirds for the second time this season with a final score of 5-1.
With only two games left of CBL, the varsity girls gave it their all when they went up against Redlands High School. The Blackhawks started strong in Hodges stadium a little before 5 p.m with warm ups, followed up with shots on goal and long kicks from defenders. Leaving everything on the field, the game finished up with a final score of 3-0, Blackhawks with the win.
In the final league game, the players took the bus and enjoyed the ride to Beaumont to face the Cougars. The whistle was blown and the girls on the sidelines ran to cheer with the players on the field as they celebrate their win of 3-0 and their record of ten wins and zero losses.
With an undefeated season, the girls and the seniors celebrated all their hard work as undefeated league champs for the past three consecutive years.
The varsity girls pose with coach Norma Mendez after their last Citrus Belt League game. (Courtesy of Hung Chau)