Crush handed first home loss by crosstown rival

Fresno City Freshman Alyssa Damian works her way around a CCC defender. [Photo by Daniel Leon]

A CCC and Fresno City player collide as they battle for the ball. [Photo by Daniel Leon]
By Johnny Martin | Sports Reporter

The Clovis Community women’s soccer team suffered their first home loss Friday, losing 2-0 to the Rams of Fresno City.

Coming into their match today with the Rams, the Crush had won four consecutive games outscoring their opponents 13-1. Playing arguably their best soccer of the season, the Crush looked to continue their win streak and improve their undefeated home record, but standing in their way was their cross-town rival.

Having lost to the Rams (12-3-2, 5-0-1) already in their first ever matchup earlier this season, the Crush came into today the clear underdogs.

“We made it a priority today to eliminate the easy scoring opportunities and for us to come out at home and try to take the game to them,” Crush Head Coach Orlando Ramirez said.

The Crush (6-3-5, 4-2) limited the scoring chances for the Rams from the first whistle thanks to solid play from their backline. The Rams contained majority of the possession but just could not get the clear scoring opportunities like before.

The Rams created their best scoring opportunity of the first half early on in just the 16th minute after a shot off of a set piece was sent just over the crossbar. That would arguably be the Rams best scoring chance of the half as the Crush came away with the small victory with the score tied at zero at the half.

Things would continue into the second half as both teams would not let down on defense. That was until the 73rd minute when the Rams found an open spot and Juliet Trembley ripped a shot from just inside the 18’ to give Fresno City the lead.

The Crush would suffer another tough break just five minutes later when a shot too hard for Kalina Goodarzi to handle bounced right to the feet of Trembley who put it into the back of the net for her second goal of the match.

“Their energy and their fitness level, pushing pushing pushing in the later stages of the game it’s tough,” Ramirez said. “It’s unfortunate for our goalie Kalina to give up that second one in a 1-0 game but we continue to grow.”

The Crush could not muster up a goal themselves in the second half and they dropped their first home game of the season, a tough one, to their rivals.

“I think today compared to the first time we played them. I felt like we were much more prepared in our defensive effort to keep them shutout for just about 70 minutes, I’m very proud at where we are,” Ramirez said.

The Crush will look to continue their positive play as they hit the road once again in a key matchup as they near the end of their season. The Crush will visit Taft on Tuesday in a game that could end up being for second place in the conference as Taft sits just one game behind Clovis Community.

“Our expectations for ourselves continue to grow as we improve, as we get better, and as we get more comfortable with each other,” Ramirez said. “I think today was a great test of our character and what kind of heart would we have in a game against a good rival and at home with a great crowd. ‘It was the kind of atmosphere that we play for and this was the first chance our girls got to play in something like that so I was happy.”