By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
Wind chills in Santa Clarita were not enough to slow down the Golden Valley Grizzlies (3-2, 1-2) as they took on the Palmdale Falcons (5-7, 3-2) and won in resounding fashion, 4-1, on Monday.
The Grizzlies head into the holiday break with serious momentum on their side.
“We played really well for large periods of the game and were able to control the game,” said Grizzlies head coach Kai English. “We had some periods that were off but once we were able to settle the ball down and connect, the 4-1 score shows it and it was a good win for us.”
The Grizzlies came out aggressively by scoring a quick goal by Emily Cardoza just four minutes into the game.
The Grizzlies quickly moved the ball and had on-target shots all game long, including two misses before the end of the first half by Kaitlyn Herrera. Herrera didn’t let her misses phase her as she was able to score when the Falcons’ goalie left the net with three minutes left to go, making the score 2-0 entering halftime.
The story of the first half belonged to the Grizzlies’ defense who only gave the Falcons three shots at the goal.
Despite the bone-chilling temperatures and a rowdy enough crowd, the game remained relatively clean in the first half with very few penalties. It would not remain the same.
As the game wore on, penalties would fly, which resulted in goals from both teams on penalty kicks. The Grizzlies’ Kaia Usher would score at the 28th minute with the Falcons’ Sarahi Castro Zambrano scoring just two minutes later. The penalty kick would be the final score of the game for the Falcons.
With the game out of reach, it would seem the Grizzlies would take a more conservative approach. Usher had other plans, taking the ball down the field on her own, breaking down two defenders and scoring with her opposite foot to set the score 4-1, the final score of the game.
“My body was just moving on instinct,” said Usher when asked about her final goal. “I blacked out the last five minutes and my body was moving by itself, so that final goal was just pure instinct.”