Girls’ soccer loses an unfortunate pre-league match against Santa Paula


Quinn Kennedy

Eva Goncalves ‘25 faces off with a Santa Paula player, battling for ball possession.

Nisha Reddy, Reporter

On Dec. 14, Foothill Technology (Foothill Tech) Dragons girls’ soccer tied their cleats to play against the Santa Paula High School Cardinals. As the stands filled during the freezing winter night, the crowd shivered while waiting to cheer on the girls.

The whistle blew to kick off, Foothill Tech starting with the ball. Directly after the first pass, the ball was instantly in Santa Paula’s feet for the first 10 seconds of the game. They used skill and speed to get it down the field, and with a miracle, Santa Paula scored a goal in the first 20 seconds of the game. 

The crowd was a mix of fans screaming with joy, and fans yelling in confusion and frustration. Foothill Tech instantly lifted their intensity after that goal, promising not to let it happen again. 

Through the rest of the first half, the ball was played through both sides, shot attempts occurring equally. In the final five minutes of the first half, the Dragons sparked offensively, hoping to end the half in a tie. Shayna Dearman-So ‘24 was enthusiastic in her desire to score a goal, taking many shot attempts. She reflected on her playing by saying, “personally, today I played well. I think as a team we also played super well together, so I’m really happy about that.”

Unfortunately, the Dragons couldn’t manage to get their desired goal, and the half ended with a score of 1-0, Cardinals in the lead. 

The team went into a serious half time huddle in attempts to plan out their comeback in the second half.

Foothill varsity players communicate and try to win back the ball. (Quinn Kennedy)

The second half started with Santa Paula getting the kick off.  With a throw-in granted shortly after, Claire Hernandez ‘22 takes a shot from the 15-yard-line. Luckily for the other team, their goalkeeper moves fast and gets to the ball, not letting it meet the back of the goal. 

After this, the ball goes back and forth through the field as sky balls fly through the air due to frustrated defense on both sides of the field. 

Riley Schneider ‘22 has enough of this and takes the ball to the goal, passing it to Dearman-So ‘24 as she passes back, cuts and runs just too fast to be able to contain the ball on her cut to the goal.

Seconds later, the crowd is excited to see Schneider and Dearman-So working together once again, Schneider kicking it into the middle, and Dearman-So trying to head it into the goal, but just missing it. The ball then proceeded to move to the other side of the field, awaiting the defense. 

Schneider reflected on the game by saying, “we played with heart, especially in the second half, but we definitely didn’t connect the passes that we should’ve.”

Coach Patty Gomez followed up with what Schneider said while stating, “I think the second half was a lot better, this just wasn’t our best game. We weren’t connecting as well as we normally do.”

The clock kept running, lessening the chances of scoring for the Dragons. The ball made its way into Schneider’s feet, she made an attack on goal, but the goalkeeper kicked it out. Schneider didn’t have enough, she then slide-tackling the Cardinal with the ball, leaving the crowd cheering with enthusiasm and laughs.

For the remaining part of the game, the ball stayed on Foothill’s offensive side, allowing them to perform many great shot attempts.



Coach Patty was also proud of the girls’ efforts in saying, “I think definitely the second half showed that the girls had heart and they wanted it, we just couldn’t put it away.” The game ended in a score of 1-0, Santa Paula taking the game. 

The Dragons played their first league game on Dec. 17 against Santa Clara High School at the Santa Clara field, and took a rough loss. However Schneider is hopeful for the future of their standings when she says, “come to our next game, we’re going to win!”

What do you think?