It was sunny, 75 degrees, and senior night. Under these conditions Mesa’s soccer varsity girls team took the field. Sophie Harriman (jersey number 12) said she felt, “Excited that all seniors are starting,” before she stepped on the soccer field. Kenya Avila (#4), another senior said, “I’m nervous! It’s our last game.” Head Coach Tamiko, now wrapping up his second full year as head coach, said he had mixed feelings. He was “excited for thecompetition, but sad there are lots of graduating seniors.” He is proud and privileged to have coached the girls. This game is “bittersweet” to him. Mesa started with eight seniors on the field. Cassie Harriman (#7), Citlaly Gomez (#5), and Mica Penazzi (#16), three non-seniors, also joined the seniors on the field. Most throw-ins and goal kicks were performed by Gomez (#5) when Mesa received the chance. Minute 39 of the first half Penazzi (#16) received a yellow card. When the whistle blew, Cassie Harriman stated she felt, “…Angry. I want to win!” Amalia Uribe felt “frustrated.”
The second half started with five players from the first
half and the rest included underclassmen. Stephanie Rand, a senior watching the game, said “I think they’re doing well.” Sal Sanchez, a player on the boy’s varsity team and watching the game expressed his thoughts on the game. “I think the referees were fair in the beginning, but not so much in the second half.”
During the last five minutes of the game both teams had
extremely close calls to scoring. Gomez (#5) hit the goal post in a free kick. Laguna Beach barely went over the goal with a kick. Both teams fought hard to score, but the game ended in a tie of 0 to 0.
“I feel like the players played really hard throughout.
Citlaly’s [kick] should’ve gotten in. A tie is always good… not giving [Laguna Beach] is a win. I feel the coaches should’ve played the seniors more, but I’m not the coach,” reflected bystander Royce Friendmann at the game’s conclusion.
When asked how he felt once the game ended, Head Coach Tamiko replied “Sad. I will miss them, especially seeing tears in their eyes now. The girls deserved to win against the champions of the league, and we came really close. That would have made a great ending to the season, but still I think everyone can leave with their head held high.”
Written By: Kimberly Hedges