Tulare Union continues eight-game win streak after cross-town rivalry battle ends in Tulare Western’s 1-0 defeat
TULARE – The historic rivalry between Tulare Western and Tulare Union took place in the form of girls soccer on Wednesday Jan. 26. This intense and hard fought game could’ve gone either way, but ended in a 1-0 Tulare Union victory.
This league matchup between two Tulare high schools produced an intense game filled with great goalie play, strong defense and high effort offense. Particularly from Union’s side with standout seniors like Maddie Lew and goalie Rebecca Huffman. From the start, Union had the upper hand. The ball stayed on Western’s half for most of the game. Good movement from Union combined with a stifling defense made it hard for Western to get the ball across the field.
Although the ball was staying in Union’s possession, a strong Western defense prevented them from scoring multiple times. Union had many opportunities but couldn’t quite capitalize. Even with a strong defense it wasn’t looking good. The Mustangs were struggling to move the ball down the field and any shot attempt they had was blocked. Union’s goalie made many impressive leaping saves to prevent Western from getting ahead.
As the half was coming to a close the game started heating up. Western was finding its footing on offense and starting to push the ball more and more. Unfortunately, the score was still 0-0 heading into the half. Once the second half started both teams were fired up. They were both fighting for a chance to take the lead. Eventually this was found when Union was able to move the ball through a mess of defenders and get a quick strike. Union had all the momentum from then on.
The score was early in the half so Western still had plenty of time to get back in it. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t seem to take the ball all the way. They had plenty of opportunities, including ones right in front of the goal, but just couldn’t get that last push. As the game started coming to a close Western was trying anything. There were many deep shots and powerful drives but between missed opportunities and great goalie play it just wasn’t going in their favor. In the last few minutes it was clear that Union had confidence. Western had many offensive possessions but Union was able to keep them in check and prevented any last second score. The game ended 1-0 in favor of the Tribe.
After this victory, Tulare Union went on to beat Monache on Friday Jan. 28. They continue to lead the East Yosemite League and looked to expand their win streak to 10 games against Delano on Monday Jan. 31. As for Tulare Western, they faced off against Porterville in a league match on Tuesday Feb. 1. Both finals occurred after press time.