Canyon girls soccer picks up first win of the season

Golden Valley's Shaden Moran (17) and Canyon's Analisa Rappe (23) chase a ball at Canyon on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Canyon girls soccer picked up its first win of the season in a 2-1 victory over Golden Valley at home Thursday night.

“It’s all about momentum in this league,” said Canyon head coach Milan Cabrera. “Now, were going into our next game with that momentum. Every confidence booster you can get as a team is essential.”

Canyon started the scoring with a goal from sophomore Cassidy Cerin. Cerin’s goal put the Cowboys up 1-0 as the first half came to a close

“Cassidy is a player that I know when she goes in she’s going to work the entire time,” Cabrera said. “She’s a player that puts herself in great positions to score. She’s a great asset because she’s got great vision on the field. She makes those great runs as a forward.”

Cabrera said it was very important for her team to score first as halftime approached. For her, momentum is everything. To encourage her players to attack more, she holds competitions between her forwards to see who can score the most.

“It was crucial,” she said. “We needed that goal to go into the second half with momentum and give a little confidence to the girls. It almost kind of pumped my other two forwards to score.” 

More: Golden Valley boys soccer builds culture, beats Canyon

At the beginning of the second half, the Grizzlies responded with a goal of their own to make the score 1-1. Mariah Garcia took a shot from 20 yards out and placed the ball just out of the keepers’ reach.

“She played as a leader out there,” said Golden Valley head coach Freddie Wheeler. “She played aggressive. She led from the front and communicated well. We’re lucky to have her.”

Golden Valley’s luck ran out quickly as the Cowboys responded almost immediately to push the scoreline to 2-1. 

“It just nice to see that the girls didn’t get their heads down,” said Cabrera. “They took it upon themselves to play the necessary balls. It put them into better positions, to allow Analise (Rappe) to have the opportunity to score.”

Golden Valley’s Garcia Mariah (21) and Canyon’s Jocelyn Lazo (4) chase a ball at Canyon on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The go-ahead goal that eventually put away the game came from senior Rappe. Her goal gave the Cowboys the confidence to fight to the end of the match to secure their first win of the season.

“She’s one of those players that’s a utility player. She’s a player I know I can rely on at the end of the game to do anything to win,” Cabrera said.

Golden Valley goalkeeper Eziekella Okereke, nicknamed “Superwoman” by her teammates, was another standout player. Her athleticism at the goal kept the Grizzlies in the game until the end with multiple diving saves.

“She keeps us in a lot of the matches and she’s going to continue to do good for this program,” Wheeler said.

The Grizzlies will return home on Tuesday to take on Saugus at 3:15 p.m. and the Cowboys travel to Newhall to take on Hart at the same time.

“I’m definitely proud of them and the way they played,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to learn from this match. We just need one extra push to turn that corner. Once we turn that corner we’re going to do great things.”

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