Golden Eagles Hand Timberwolves First Conference Loss

Clovis West’s Amber Jensen (7) holds off a Clovis East player during their Jan. 17 conference matchup at CEHS. (Christian Ortuno/Clovis Roundup)

By Johnny Martin | Reporter

The Clovis West Golden Eagles girls’ soccer team defeated Clovis East 2-0 in their Jan. 17 road matchup, tallying their biggest TRAC win of the season.

Following back-to-back losses in two key TRAC games, the Golden Eagles needed something to get them back on track and a win against the defending TRAC and Division I Valley champions did just that.

“Like I’ve said before: I knew coming in this was going to be a battle, every TRAC game is going to be that way,” said Clovis West head coach Nikki Schrey. “The biggest thing for us was ‘Yeah, East is coming off of a valley title, but at the end of the day it’s a new season and it’s a new opportunity for us,’ and we have to treat every team like this.”

Thanks to muddy conditions following our latest big storm, both teams had a hard time maintaining possession and stringing enough passes together to muster quality scoring opportunities in the first half. Both teams respectively had one quality scoring chance late in the first half when they traded crosses that made it all the way through the box but nobody on the back end to finish them. 

With neither team able to score in the first half, the Golden Eagles returned to the way they played in their one TRAC win on the season against Clovis North two weeks ago.

“It was just like the North game, I told my girls at the half that it comes down to who wants it more,” Schrey said. “I told them you have to set the tone in the first 10 minutes of the second half, guaranteed if we set the tone in the first 10 minutes we’re going to walk away with the victory and that’s what we did today.”

Finding themselves tied at the half just like against North, the Eagles knew they had to come out firing in the second half. The Golden Eagles set the tone in the first 10 minutes just like they wanted to, as they were able to get a goal from senior Marisa Gularte just four minutes into the second half.

Gularte was on the receiving end of a beautiful cross from the corner by freshman Amber Jensen and put it past the diving Timberwolves goalkeeper.

Jensen, being the only freshman on the team, picked up another assist later in the second half when she was the recipient of a through ball that put her in a scoring opportunity. Seeing that the through ball put her past defenders but not at the best of angles to take a quality shot, she passed it off to senior Maddi Fisher who then put it in the back of the net to give the Golden Eagles the 2-0 lead.

“Both of those goals were team goals, on both of them we started from midfield and worked our way up and we had good finishes and good focus,” Schrey said. “I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do that because that’s some good soccer.”

Following the Golden Eagles’ second goal, the Timberwolves went full throttle in the offensive attack and created some scoring chances but just could not get anybody to put the ball in the back of the net. The Golden Eagle defense tightened up when they needed to secure the 2-0 victory.

“I was proud that the girls were able to come together and put this one away,” Schrey said. “I’ll give it to them [Clovis East] though, that middle part of the second half they were knocking down the door and continued to battle and fight but we transitioned and played a little more defensive and we were able to get the victory.”

The Golden Eagles improve to 8-3-2 (2-2) while the T-Wolves suffer their first TRAC loss on the year and fall to 7-2-1 (2-1).

“With my girls we have to continue to grow and learn that if we want to have the success that we want to have as a team in the TRAC, then we have to be an 80-minute team,” Schrey said. “And also the last thing I want to do is to go into games and be predictable so we still have to work on giving team’s different looks, especially with our speed up top. We’ve got to bring that unpredictability with the way we play because at the end of the day good soccer is going to beat teams.”