Every goal forfeited to the opposing team is bound to leave a slight sting, but especially so when the goal comes early in the match. Not even a minute into the game, Aragon midfielder Karla Romero-Lopez was able to chase down the loose ball and guide it into the goal to give the home team a 1-0 lead against Half Moon Bay. After that quick goal, the Lady Dons never looked back en route to their 2-0 victory.
“It did take the sails out of us a little bit,” said Half Moon Bay head coach Julio Serrano of Romero-Lopez’s early goal. “Every year, Aragon is a good, sound, technical team. They play a good style of soccer. Very fluid. Obviously it’s tough when you give up a goal to any team, but more so against Aragon because they like to keep possession of the ball. So once they get the ball, it’s going to be tough to get that back.”
Romero-Lopez’s second goal came with 19:52 remaining in the first half after Half Moon Bay goalkeeper Sarah O’Keefe came out to deny Aragon striker Taylin Nguyen’s attempt. With O’Keefe taken out of the play, Romero-Lopez was able to score her team’s second goal, making the score 2-0.
Throughout the game, the Lady Cougars (2-8-0 overall, 1-3 PAL-Bay) attempted to utilize their 4-4-2 offense against the Lady Dons (4-4-1 overall, 2-2-1 PAL-Bay), but the team struggled to maintain possession for enough time to develop a rhythm. As they are known to do, Aragon held onto the ball for the majority of the game, moving it around and even pulling it back to goalkeeper Jennifer Parker regularly to reset the offense.
The Lady Cougars rushed at Parker and choked up on defense, hoping to station their offense on their half of the field, but once the Lady Dons got the ball out in front, they were hard to stop. Working the ball to the middle, Aragon looked to their attackers along the sideline, who were able to come within 20 yards of the goal upon multiple occasions, but Half Moon Bay’s defense in the second half intensified behind defenders Morgan Young and Ashley O’Keefe, who were able to force the ball out against their opponents.
The visiting team’s closest shot came midway through the second half, but the attempt found only the sidebar, keeping the score 2-0 in the Lady Don’s eventual win.
“I think we showed our intensity with the first whistle. And that came to two goals in the first two minutes, which, for us, was the start we wanted,” said Aragon head coach Nick Dye. “I think after that, we controlled the game, we looked after the game, we moved the ball well. We were able to rest players, we were able to play many. I still expected more from us in terms of an attacking stance. But, I’ll take the controlled game. I’ll definitely take the win and a lot for us to pick up and take away from.”
With this win, Aragon will start their six-game road-trip beginning with Capuchino on Thursday while Half Moon Bay will look to end their two-game skid with a home matchup against Menlo-Atherton.
*As published on prep2prep.com