Photo by Tony Chen
SPHS girls’ soccer drew a tie against the rival San Marino Titans on Saturday, January 6 by a score of 1-1. The late game thriller marked the first league game for the Tigers, who seek to maintain their status as Rio Hondo League champions in the new year.
The Tigers entered the match with a high press gameplan and were rewarded ten minutes into the first half when senior Jenna Noueihed was fouled inside the box. Senior forward Uma Hornish stepped up to the spot and slotted the first goal into the bottom right corner. Though the Tigers continued to exhibit crafty attacking play throughout the first half, the team’s characteristically strong defense struggled to contain the majority of the Titan’s attacks. However, fearless tackles from senior Emma “Booch” Barrera along with numerous stops from senior keeper Noemi Howland allowed the Tigers to survive the scrappy first half with a marginal lead.
Both teams came out firing in the second half, with the Tigers almost doubling their earnings seconds after kickoff from a Barrera free kick. Although the offense continued to probe its way into the attacking third, the Tigers were unable to prevent their sloppy defensive efforts from spilling over into the second half. Miscommunication from the backline led to a controversial Titan penalty kick, but a full extension tip save from Howland preserved the Tiger lead for the time being.
With less than ten minutes left in the game, a bouncing ball in the box was batted out by a Tiger defender, resulting in a red card and the third penalty kick of the afternoon. The Titans were able to convert this time, leveling the game at one. With just ten players, the Tigers mustered up one final attack on quick defense-to-offense transition made possible by a skillful play from Hornish. After dancing past several Titan defenders, Hornish touched the ball past the Titan keeper. The accurate strike, however, lacked pace and the hail mary was intercepted yards away from the goal line by a Titan defender.
The Tigers will look for their first league win when they host to Temple City at 3:30 pm next Tuesday, January 8.