Girls soccer: Clovis East tops Buchanan in narrow victory to remain undefeated

By Daniel Leon, Sports Reporter

The Clovis East girls soccer team hasn’t skipped a beat this season and it displayed that with a Friday, Jan. 29, 1-0 league victory over reigning Central Section Division I champion Buchanan.

After both teams had no luck in the first period, the Timberwolves bounced back in the second period as they went on to score while holding off a late Bears’ push to improve to 15-0-2 on the season.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Clovis East head coach Jasara Gillette said. “In the first half we didn’t come out at all but I think what’s great about this team is that we have the ability to turn it around. They really do have that desire, and they can play as a team and turn it around even when things are looking like they’re not going our way.”

In the 48th minute, junior forward/midfielder Nikki Crouch netted the Timberwolves’ lone goal of the match and her 13th of the season when she split a pair of defenders deep in Bears’ territory and drove the shot past a diving goalkeeper.

“We just work hard and we believe,” Crouch said. “We want it really bad and even if we don’t start the game great, we keep fighting, keep pushing through and I think that sets us apart.”

As the T-Wolves continue to ride their historic 2015-16 wave, they have managed to stay grounded by using the approach of “one game at a time,” and even with the success they’ve experienced this season, the team still has room to grow.

“We’re really trying to take it one game at a time,” Gillette said. “I think it’s good because we’re not playing our greatest and we know we keep having things to work on. It’s easy to not get humble because we’re not playing our best but we’re trying to take it one game at a time.

“Ultimately for us, every game is a game made in history, so that’s kind of what we talk about. Each game is a gift because we’re already in history, so every game is just an added point to history.”

With three games left in the regular season (Feb. 3 vs. Clovis North, Feb. 5 vs. Clovis West and Feb. 10 at Central, all held after the Roundup’s deadline), Gillette said the team needs to continue to stay hungry and grow with each game to keep the momentum going into the playoffs.

“Our goal is to continue to hone on the things we need to pick up,” she said. “So we continue to work on the possession side of it – I think that helps us when we’re able to actually hold the ball because it’s the best defense you can have. Our big focus is trying to improve each game, so we want to make ourselves better every single day so that we’re coming full steam as we get to the end.”