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Girls soccer: Three first-half goals doom English High

The Bulldogs show heart and determination, especially in the second half, in a 3-1 loss to Madison Park.

The Madison Park High School girls soccer team is a top-tier team. English High School is still trying to reach that level.

The two teams played according to script the first half with Madison Park scoring three unanswered goals. The Bulldogs displayed true grit reversing roles in the second by dominating on the defensive side and scoring the lone goal before eventually losing 3-1 Tuesday.

The defeat leaves the English at 3-9 on the season while Madison Park improved to 7-2.

"I was really pleased," said English head coach Meredith Innis. "I wasn't really expecting that good of a score. I was really impressed with the defense in the second half. Madison had no goals in the second half. That was great."

The Bulldogs fell behind early when, ten minutes into the game, Heidi Gomes blasted a shot in front of goal. Arisleida Candelario was able to stop the shot but unable to control the ball as it spun away and into the back of the net.

Madison Park added its second tally of the half five minutes later when Leila da Silva collected a rebound and booted it past Candelario.

English had its best scoring opportunity of the half when senior Andrea Ochoa dribbled past two Madison Park defenders but had her breakaway shot saved.

"I've seen her dribble the ball three-quarters of the way down the field before with five girls trailing her," said Innis. "She has a lot of skills."

Madison Park increased its lead to 3-0 when at the 26-minute mark da Silva dribbled around several defenders and blasted a shot to the right of the net for her second goal of the game.

In the waning minutes of the half Madison Park had an opportunity to add to its lead when on a four-on-one advantage Candelario made a save to prevent further damage.  

The Bulldogs responded moments later when Ochoa passed the ball to Trayana Mair. The sophomore forward had one defender to beat but her touch was too hard, sending the ball out of bounds.

English came out strong to start the second half and had an early scoring chance on a three-on-two advantage but the Bulldogs could not find the back of the net.

Mair managed to break the Bulldogs' scoring drought when she dribbled the ball down the left side, kept it, and sliced a shot between the post and the goalie 37 minutes into the second half.

"It was beautiful," said Innis. "I wasn't expecting that. She shot from pretty far back, but it was a beautiful goal."

The Bulldogs were able to shutout Madison Park in the second half with a stingy defense and several key saves from Arisleida, including coming out of net to stop a breakaway chance for Joana Rosa.

Innis looks for her team to bring the same intensity Wednesday that they showed in the second half.

"If we had done that the whole game, who knows what would have happened," said Innis.

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