By GERARDO RECINOS
Alhambra’s varsity girls soccer team rebounded from a harsh loss in their last game with a commanding 3-0 win over Novato on Wednesday night.
Coach Ed Marinelli made a couple of adjustments to his usual lineup he has deployed so far this season in the Dec. 14 win.
The most important of those changes was probably shifting Sarah Emigh back into her role in the midfield and replacing her at central defender with Jenna Coffman.
Emigh’s presence in the midfield alongside Carly Agostino solidified Alhambra.
In no time at all the Bulldogs dominated the possession game, and after only 13 minutes gone, they were rewarded with their first goal.
The goal came from a brilliantly timed interception by Chakeira Cox, who had a field day going forward against Novato.
Cox’s tackle and through ball to Julia Perez allowed the junior to make up for a chance she had missed only four minutes earlier.
For the second time in the match, Perez rounded the rushing keeper, this time slotting her shot into the net.
It was definitely coming for Alhambra, they pressured the ball well when Novato had it, and forced errant passes with some good high pressure.
They continued onto the offensive for the better part of 25 minutes before they struck again. And again it was all started by Cox.
The right back was in good position to claim a poor clearance and instinctively played the ball back into the box. With runners obscuring the goalkeepers view, Lindsey Alford was able to pick up the pieces and send her shot into the roof of the net.
It all happened in a temporary lapse of judgement in the dying seconds of the half, but that five minute period that extended into the second half was enough for Alhambra to get all that they needed.
In the 46th minute Perez was the supplier for the goal. She slipped in a perfectly-weighted through ball to Alford that the senior took with her left foot. A slight deflection off the keeper didn’t do much to change the outcome, as the captain bagged her second on the night all within the space of six minutes of game time.
In what became a feisty affair in only 30 minutes of game time four yellow cards were handed out for increasingly testy play. While no red cards were shown the referee looked stern when he made the warnings to the players.
His warnings and the scoreline put a slight damper on the level of soccer being played, but the Bulldogs still had opportunities to increase their lead.
Only a minute after Alford’s goal, the Bulldogs worked a nice move that was unfortunate to not produce a goal.
A through ball from Perez to Alford was nearly turned in by the running Emigh. The cut back by Alford allowed Emigh to strike it with her right foot, but her shot cannoned off the post.
And it wasn’t the only time in the second half the wood work would deny Alhambra. In the 70th minute Agostino struck a shot from outside the 18-yard box that drilled the cross bar.
While neither scored, the moves that lead to the shots were well executed and bode well for the team.
The win improves Alhambra’s record to 3-1-1. With their match set for Friday cancelled, the Bulldog girls wont lace them up in a game until Jan. 4 against Concord.