It was only three days into the Avocado West League girls’ soccer schedule but the two teams that took the field at La Costa Canyon Thursday night, both with designs of finishing on the upper half of the league table, were each 0-1 and already in somewhat desperate need of a victory. Just over 90 minutes later one came out satisfied as La Costa Canyon, sparked by a pair of Lizzy Teran goals, rolled past Canyon Crest, 4-1.
The host Mavericks, who had been beaten just once in the past six games before being waylaid by Mission Hills in their Tuesday night 2020 Avo West debut, improved their overall mark to 6-3-2 while CCA, a CIF Open Division qualifier last winter, fell for the third consecutive time, slipping to 4-8-2. La
LCC bounced back impressively from Tuesday’s defeat, controlling the run of play throughout Thursday’s contest. The Mavericks had to rebound against CCA, too, after the Ravens posted the first score with 10:58 to go in the first half, senior Sofia Rodgers hitting a wicked left-footed drive from the top of the box at the end of a nice counterattack run by senior Cleo Kennedy.
“We were definitely in command but in the beginning a little shaky and we’ve had a tendency to let some goals in early,” said senior Teran, who upped her season goal total to 11. “We’ve got to work on that.”
Canyon Crest barely had time to celebrate its good fortune before LCC struck back. Barely a minute later, senior Lorena Villa got the ball off the ensuing kickoff, carried it down the right side and beat her defender to the corner. The result was a pull-down in the box and a penalty kick which Villa handled herself, knotting the score at one. That’s how it stayed until the interval.
In the eighth minute of the second half Teran, the most dangerous Avo West attacker not wearing Carlsbad purple and a thorn in the Ravens’ side all night, gave the Mavs their first lead. In the middle of a pack in front of the goal, Teran somehow got her head on Kylie Stirling’s corner kick and nodded it home from short range.
“Kiley put it in a perfect spot and I’m always looking for the ball in the box on corners,” Teran said. “I feel like that’s one of my biggest strengths.”
At 11:27, senior defender Gracie Walke floated a left-footed free kick from roughly 30 yards out that went cross cage, off the fingertips of CCA goalie Jamison Ruff and into the far corner. Teran netted the capper with just under six minutes remaining, punching in an end line cross from Villa.
“I really didn’t have to do much, Lorena and I practice that a lot and as the season goes on, I feel we can get a lot more of those,” said Teran. “We’re playing well as a team—compared to past years, our chemistry and communication are much better from top-to-bottom.
“After the loss to Mission Hills, this was a really important win to get and we came in with the attitude that losing or tying tonight was simply not an option.”
On the other side of the field, Head Coach Matt Favor talked of focusing on what he trusts is within his club’s capabilities. “It’s frustrating because I know we can play so much better,” said Favor. “In the last couple of games, we seemed to have turned it around a little bit, getting some good feelings, but tonight there was a lack of sharpness, a lack of execution—we looked tired, mentally and physically.
“I believe we’re good enough to beat teams like La Costa Canyon but we were playing like we were afraid to make a mistake. We need to get our confidence back.”
One person not lacking in that department is Teran. “There are a lot of good teams but I think we have the ability to win the league,” said Teran. “Our next game is against (two-time defending champion) Carlsbad so that will tell a lot. If we can get past that, we can get past anything.”
Upcoming Avocado West Girls’ Soccer schedule:
Tuesday, Jan. 21
--San Marcos @ Torrey Pines
--Mission Hills @ Canyon Crest
--Carlsbad @ La Costa Canyon
Thursday, Jan. 23
--San Marcos @ La Costa Canyon
--Torrey Pines @ Canyon Crest
--Mission Hills @ Carlsbad