After a 3-0 Heritage League win over Trinity Classical Academy, the Santa Clarita Valley International girl soccer team stood shoulder to shoulder inside the net for a postgame photo.
Each player was beaming.
The Thursday afternoon game at Rio Norte Junior High marked the first time in the program’s four-year existence, the Stallions had beaten the Knights.
“We know what it feels like to play with all our heart and not come out with a win,” said defender Emma Hild, “but it does feel really good because I know we’ve earned it because we’ve all tried so hard and we’ve always put all our hearts (in).”
Lily Magno scored an early first-half goal for SCVi, then Delaney Harnett followed up with a goal of her own as the first half came to a close.
Trinity’s goalkeeper made the initial save, but with traffic in front of the net, Harnett wrangled a rebound and pushed it in.
A gritty Stallion back line cleared out the defending third on a regular basis, allowing for the midfield to push the ball upfield for plenty of scoring opportunities.
Goalkeeper Avery Bowen was essential in the second half, making six quality saves to keep a set of eager Knight strikers at bay.
“I’m always really proud of her,” said Hild of Bowen. “She’s played keeper for quite a while … she has like a lot of really, like, quick moves and reactions, but they always work out for the best.”
Sarah Simpson sealed the shutout with a shot from inside the box to the center of the net while the Knights’ keeper was displaced.
The win is particularly impressive considering SCVi rarely plays with a complete roster due to injury and small school size.
“We haven’t even played with a full 11 yet this year,” said coach Ben Williams. “And so there’s been struggles and a little bit of injuries and stuff, but they still, they just come out to have fun and play hard.”
Trinity next plays at Vasquez on Tuesday, Jan. 30, while SCVi plays St. Monica Academy on Thursday, Feb. 1, according to MaxPreps.com.