IMPERIAL — The Imperial Tigers girls’ soccer team hosted the Calexico Bulldogs Friday night in an evenly matched game that ended when the Tigers scored late in the second half, beating the Bulldogs 1-0 and advancing their league record.
The game started slow as the Tigers’ Alexis Sanchez (#11) took the first shot of the game that was blocked by Calexico’s goalkeeper, Xitlali Garcia (#00), diving into the left corner of the goal to make the stop.
But the Tigers continued their progression with mid-fielder Caroline Plunktett (#7) getting a steal and taking a shot from the penalty box. The shot was blocked by Garcia for a second save.
The first half of play was all Tigers with Alyssa Vitela (#10) going for a goal on a free kick, just missing above the cross-bar.
The Lady Bulldogs went for their first shot at goal late in the first half, with Elizabeth Trejo (#16) heading a ball that narrowly missed over the top.
As the first half ended, both teams reset for the second half, with the score at zero all.
Kicking off the second period, the Tigers kicked the first shot with Yisel Garcia (#3) shooting from the corner of the box, but again, it was blocked by the Bulldogs’ Garcia.
Shortly after, Calexico made a play of their own with Trejo, but the shot was blocked with a diving snag by the Tigers’ goalkeeper Priscilla Silva (#0).
With 12 minutes left in the second half, Imperial’s Natalie Padilla (#25) took a successful shot at the goal with the ball bouncing off the cross-bar and into the back of the net, giving the Tigers a 1-0 score.
The Bulldogs had one more try with Marlyn Aguirre (#14) receiving a free kick for their last chance for goal, but it was snagged by Imperial goalkeeper Silva.
“This was a hard-fought game and we just went out there to keep playing,” said Tigers Head Coach Luis Sotelo. “Also, the girls never gave up and pushed through the 40 minutes. That helped us come out of this game with the win.”
The Tigers now have a 4-4-2 league record and they will move on to host the Central Spartans February 7 for their next conference match up. The Bulldogs will play their next conference game when they travel to Holtville to take on the Vikings.