With efforts that were fierce, the Pierce Bears sank their teeth into the Williams Yellowjackets on Friday and would not let go, winning the girls soccer match 4-1.
Soccer fans braved 45-degree weather and a light mist with periodic rain, so the girls rewarded them with an exciting game.
While the chill in the air cooled off both teams’ efforts, the girls ran up and down the wet grass with relative ease, although Ladyjacket Nayeli Contreras’ feet slipped from underneath her and had to spend some time on the bench.
Bearette Sarah Vann also went down. After the referees ran to her aid, Vann was up with a limp but soldiered on and continued to play.
Feeling rejuvenated by Vann, Contreras rejoined the fray, with both girls showing the dedication and determination they put into their sport.
With the clock running down, Yellowjacket coach Kristi Hill was heard across the field, encouraging her girls to not give up.
Although they were not able to turn the tide, they kept the Bears from getting too much of a lead.
Ladyjackets’ Litzie Leos had a strong leg and Carmen Contreras showed powerful kicks, but Bearettes Priscilla Gonzalez and Vann were nimble and tirelessly bounded across the field. Pierce’s Fernanda Alvarez danced around the Yellowjacket defenders with fancy footwork, getting the ball out of a tightly surrounding offense. Accurate passing led to good ball control, yet Ladyjacket goalkeeper Lizet Hernandez responded with several saves.
Basking in the euphoria of the win were the seniors. The team and friends took a moment to celebrate. Each of the departing athletes received flowers as their bright futures were called out on a portable speaker and applauded. There were plenty of smiles, bittersweet tears, and hugging supporting families and friends. The Bears were able to end this night, relishing a game well played.
These rivals will have a chance to go head to head again on Feb. 14 at 3 PM in Arbuckle. ■