Girls Soccer: Monarchs suffer first league loss

Exeter loses to Kingsburg 3-0 before defeating Dinuba 4-1

By Jermaine Johnson II

EXETER – It’s been a rocky three game stretch for the Monarchs. They tied Hanford West 1-1, and then couldn’t buy a goal against Kingsburg. They followed up that performance with their best offensive showing off the year as they knocked down four goals against Dinuba. 

Despite the score, the game against Kingsburg was a tough fought defensive battle by both teams. Both teams had a hard time penetrating the opposing defense. Exeter has had problems on offense all year and it hurt them against the Vikings who were able to score two first half goals. It also didn’t help that they only had two subs due to various issues, and Exeter head coach Darin Lasky admitted that his team got a bit tired.

“They put two in the net early on and we couldn’t dig ourselves out,” Lasky said. “We talked to our girls about limiting our mistakes and capitalizing on their mistakes. Instead, [Kingsburg] capitalized on two of our mistakes and we didn’t capitalize on any of their mistakes.”

Both defenses came out strong in the first 10 minutes of the match. There was only one shot on goal from each team, including an easy shot that sophomore Madisson Woods missed despite being one-on-one with an open net. 

The game’s first goal came in the 21st minute. Shelby Reed passed to senior captain Marissa Montelongo who fought through the defense and got the ball right past the goalie despite a defender being right on her hip.

“[Montelongo] is good that’s why she’s the league MVP,” Lasky said. “We didn’t defend her like we needed to and when you let someone like that get in behind you then you’re in trouble.”

In the 30th minute, Kingsburg’s other senior captain Emma Price got in on the action for the game’s second goal. Denise Elias set her up with a well-placed assist and Price scored the easy goal.

The Monarchs went into halftime trailing 2-0. All four of their losses this season have come in games where they’ve allowed more than one goal. 

In the third minute of the second half, Exeter’s offense showed signs of life. They were in excellent position to get their first point of the night, but the Vikings defense didn’t even let them get a shot on goal. They spent most of the first few minutes of the half playing offense but came away with no points to show for it. 

In the game’s 50th minute, the Vikings scored the dagger off a set piece from the corner. Junior Makayla Brumfield emerged from the scrum and knocked in the goal and the Monarch sideline was not happy about it. They felt that an over the back call should have been made, but the referees disagreed. 

One of the biggest differences in the game was passing. Kingsburg put the ball in the right places at the right times. That level of confidence is expected from a veteran team who is defending three Division IV Valley championships. Opposite of the Vikings, the Monarchs have some gelling to do if they want to be a better passing team in the CSL. 

“Our first touch is killing us. We’re not passing the ball to the channels meaning that we’re not hitting our own feet…we’re passing it to Kingsburg,” Lasky said. “It’s little things that we have to work on that will change our game.”

The Monarchs must have learned a lot during the game against Kingsburg as they followed it up with their most points scored in a game this season. They defeated Dinuba 4-1 knocking down all four goals in the first half. Senior Karina Mendez led the way with two goals. Senior Yvette Hernandez added one and Woods had the other. The team has experimented with various lineups, nearly a new one every game. As far as how that has affected the team’s cohesiveness, Lasky deems that is has been tough but they’ve rebounded well at times. 

“We have an idea of where we need to go with it now so we’re starting to click a little better,” he said. 

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