Broncos’ revenge tour off to fast start with win over Memorial

Alyssa Wheeler prepares to fire at goal. Wheeler had two goals in the Broncos 6-0 win over San Joaquin Memorial in the Harold S Young soccer tournament Dec. 6 at Clovis High School. (Michael Ford/Clovis Roundup)

After losing the Valley championship game last season to San Luis Obispo, the Clovis North Broncos girls soccer team entered the 2019-20 season with something to prove.

The Broncos veteran-laden squad got the revenge tour going in full swing Friday with a 6-0 rout of the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers at Clovis High School in the Harold S. Young tournament.

After defeating Sanger 5-0 earlier that morning, Clovis North’s dynamic attack showed no signs of fatigue early on.

The Broncos got two quick goals in the first 10 minutes by Sydney Smith and Nicole Fernandez, with Smith’s goal coming in a most unusual fashion; the ball crashed into the far side of the net on the fly off of a corner kick.

In the 13th and 19th minutes, Alyssa Wheeler netted herself two goals, pushing the Broncos to a 4-0 lead before 20 minutes had elapsed.

All told, the Broncos had five different players score goals, something that head coach Nick Pappanduros says speaks to the quality of players and balance of attack that his team boasts.

“We do have a lot of depth,” he said. “Across the field there isn’t really a weak spot at all. They’re starting to really come together and gel.”

Gel they did, as the Broncos added another goal in the first half from Gypsy Friaz in the 28th minute.

The Broncos dominated possession of the ball, preventing the Panthers from generating a solid build-up that would create scoring chances.

“We just stress at practice that as soon as you lose the ball, you’re immediately pressing, no matter what,” Pappanduros said. “They did a much better job of that today. Anytime we did lose possession, we were right on them and didn’t allow them to string much together.

The Broncos keep-away tactics paid off one final time in the 55th minute.

Izabella Lopez pushed the ball down the left wing before darting in toward the penalty box where she was fouled.

Lopez calmly walked up to the spot and buried the ball into the left corner of the net to put the finishing touches on a dominant win.

The Broncos play their final game of the tournament Saturday, looking to stay perfect on the season.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.