Girls Soccer: Perez nets hat trick in Cardinals ESL opening win

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

WOODLAKE – The future of the Lindsay Cardinals’ girls’ soccer program is now, according to long time head coach Alfredo Martinez. It has arrived in the form of Karyssa Perez. The sophomore has enjoyed offensive success during her first year on varsity, and last Thursday night tallied her first hat trick in a 4-0 win over the Woodlake Tigers.

“Making the hat trick feels really good, and to know that I have my team’s back,” Perez said.

Perez made an impression on her coach last season while playing on the Cardinals junior varsity squad. It wasn’t only her speed as a forward, but the fact she had the best ball control with both feet Martinez had seen in some time.

“This season I decided to take a chance and move her up and she is playing up to her potential,” Martinez said.

Perez’s talent was evident late in the first half when she knifed through two defenders on her way to scoring in the bottom left corner to make it 2-0. It looked as if she was offsides when she received the pass from the middle of the field, instead it was a testament to her speed and that of the entire Cardinals’ (4-4-2, 1-0) lineup. Martinez hopes his team’s speed will help them rise back to the top of the East Sequoia League.

“We like to play the speed game and move around,” Martinez said.
Perez took care of both goals in the second half. In the 29th minute, after Woodlake (0-4, 0-2) had gone on the offense for a while, Perez scored her second goal when she attacked up the near side of the field and placed the shot in the upper right corner of the goal.

Four minutes later Perez mimicked that goal to complete the hat trick and made the score 4-0.

Jimena Magana scored the Cardinals’ opening goal of the night on a direct kick from 25 yards away. The ball slipped mere inches between the Tigers’ goal keeper and the top cross bar.

“We needed this win,” Martinez said.

The only time Woodlake constantly went on the offensive was at the beginning of the second half. Besides that, the game happened on their end of the field. Despite the constant attacks Woodlake’s defense held their own in the early going. The much more physical team they were able to use their bodies to force the Cardinals’ attackers to run past the ball. Woodlake’s defenders were so efficient at it they were able to even do it from behind without taking down the attacker. It was the youth of the Tigers that ultimately provided the Cardinals with scoring lanes.

“We are young and we’ve got to correct some mistakes that we made on defense,” Woodlake head coach Roy Gura said.

Lindsay continues with ESL play on Thursday, Dec. 13 on the road against the Corcoran Panthers at 6 p.m.

Woodlake will take the field again on Dec. 18 and 20 against a pair of West Yosemite League opponents in the Hanford Bullpups and Mt. Whitney Pioneers, respectively.

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