Girls Soccer: Monarchs stay strong, sit second in league

Exeter’s zero losses and 1 tie in league games has them sitting in 2nd place in the CSL

By Jermaine Johnson II

EXETER – Enamored with injuries and young talent has not stopped the Monarchs from dominating early on in the season. After defeating Selma 1-0 and tying Hanford West 1-1 last week, they moved to 4-0-1 in the Central Sequoia League by relying heavily on a strong defense. 

“It’s been a big thing for us that we’ve been able to hold defensively cause we’re not scoring a lot of goals right now,” head coach Darin Lasky said. 

In each of their four league wins, they only scored one goal. That’s been the story of the season as they only scored more than one point in two of their 11 games. In the one league game where they allowed a goal, they tied with Hanford West. The Huskies scored early and the Monarchs couldn’t match it until the final minutes of regulation, despite several good shots on goal. The field conditions were also rough due to rain that day, and the Monarchs struggled making the conversion from their home turf to a sloppy grass field. 

“We have no leaders offensively, that’s where we are struggling. There hasn’t been a clear-cut person that’s been finishing for us,” Lasky said. “If we can find that person then it’ll change our game. That’s one of the key ingredients that we’re missing.”

The team has played with a variety of starting lineups, hoping they can find that one person who can go get a goal when needed. So far it has been a team effort on offense and they have several different players who have been scoring. The team has also been largely affected by injuries which has resulted in three to four freshmen pushed into starting roles. 

The team moved senior Yvette Hernandez to the back of the defense and consequently she has been the glue holding it all together. With the help of senior Arleny Garcia and junior Kaylee Nelsen, that trio has anchored the Monarch defense and led the team to the 7-3-1 record so far this season. 

The team now has a rematch of last year’s Valley Championship match against Kingsburg on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. The Vikings currently sit in first place in the CSL with a 5-0 record. According to Lasky, Kingsburg has a more veteran oriented team which will be a good challenge for his young players.

“Both teams have gone through rough patches. They lost their top scorer for a bit and we still don’t have some people due to injury,” he said. “Last year we played three games against them and all three were decided by one goal.” 

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