Buchanan girls edge Clovis North to get first league win

Clovis North’s No. 17 works her way around a pair of Buchanan defenders during a league match on Jan. 19, 2018. (Tomas Kassahun/Clovis Roundup)

Kyndel Borman’s goal in the third minute lifted the Buchanan girls soccer team to a 1-0 win at Clovis North on Friday, Jan. 19.

It was a much needed goal for the Bears, who came into the game struggling to get wins against their opponents in the TRAC. The Bears had settled for ties in three of their previous four league games, but the rare win helped them improve to 1-1-3 in league and 12-4-4 overall. Clovis North is still atop the TRAC standings at 3-2 and 6-6-3 overall.

“We had a lot of draws, but us and [Clovis North] were the only two schools that only have one loss. I was looking at the positives,” Buchanan head coach Tim Carroll said. “We went on a drought where we just couldn’t score and it resulted in a bunch of ties.”

Borman’s goal came on a controversial call early in the game.

“We thought she might have been offside, but the ref said it was a deflection,” Clovis North head coach Nick Pappanduros said. “They took advantage of their chance.”

“I saw the ball pop out off their defender and I saw an open look, so I just kicked it into the top corner,” Borman added.

The Broncos pushed for a late equalizer, but were not able to convert the set pieces they earned in the final minutes.

“We have to go back in practice and just get better at them,” Pappanduros said. “We have to execute better. That’s going to happen in practice.”

The Bears, despite their recent struggles to score goals, came out energized.

“It took a lot of determination and focus, but we got pumped up before the game and again at halftime,” Borman said. “I feel like we stepped it up in this game. We have better team chemistry this year than we have in a while. We all get along great. We’re more positive on the field and we all like to be encouraging to each other.”

The Bears started league play with two consecutive double overtime games, settling for a 1-1 tie against Clovis High and against Clovis West. The team then lost 1-0 against Central and followed up with a 0-0 tie against Clovis East.

“We have been missing five, six opportunities,” Carroll said. “Then we miss those opportunities, the moral starts to drop.”

Against the Broncos, it was a different story.

“Luckily in this game, we executed the game plan, we got the ball where we wanted to and we finished the first chance we had,” Carroll said.

Having taken the early lead against the Broncos, the Bears found it easier to execute the game plan.

“They’re chasing the game and we are able to control the game,” Carroll said. “That was the difference in the game.”

The Bears, who only had one loss before entering league play, feel confident that they can regain their form.

“We have been scoring five, six, seven goals in the preseason. Then we started league and we just went on a drought. We have to get that confidence back. Today, we did,” Carroll said. “This team is capable of winning the TRAC and winning the Valley Championship. I’m confident that we are going to get this thing going in the right direction.”