Girls’ soccer manages to overpower Fillmore in first round of CIF playoffs in a close 2-1 game


Rihanna Samples

On the night of of Feb. 8, 2023, the girls’ soccer team faced off against Filmore High School for the first round of CIF games. Lily Shadden ’23 (number 17) fights to keep the soccer ball in bounds while her defender closes in. After receiving the pass, Shadden dribbles the ball down the field making a crucial offensive play, hoping to score a goal for the Dragons in the first half.

Emma Ippolito, Assignment Editor

The sky had an eerie crimson glow on Feb. 8, 2023 at 6 p.m. as the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls’ soccer team warmed up for their first round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division 5 playoffs against Fillmore High School (Fillmore).

Tyler Hickerson ’26 (number 10) rushes to the ball, beating her defender and getting ready to pass it to a teammate. Throughout the game, Hickerson was a vital offensive player, especially in the second half when she scored the first goal for the Dragons. (Rihanna Samples)

As the sun settled on the horizon, the game began. The Dragons started off strong against the Fillmore Flashes, but the Flashes fought back hard, and both sides of the field were occupied. Early on, goalkeeper Addison Fallon ‘25 saved a close shot, sustaining the score at 0-0. 

The game was broken open when Fillmore skillfully got past the defense and Fallon, the score 0-1 with 20 minutes left of the first half. The Dragons did not give up, and Lily Shadden ‘23 took a shot at the goal to nearly knot the score with 16 minutes left.

After a few free kicks, the Dragons attacked to no avail but still managed to protect their own goal. Defensive players fought strongly to keep the ball away and towards Fillmore’s side of the field. 

It was then time for half time, the crisp air whipping the jerseys of the players as they huddled together and their coaches told them the game plan for the second half. 

The Dragons demonstrated newfound intensity in the second period, communicating with one another and controlling the ball. With 19 minutes left in the game, Tyler Hickerson ‘26 executed a give and go with Shadden and evaded a defender before she drilled a shot into the back of the net. The crowd cheered loudly and the stands rattled as the score was tied at 1-1.

Kimberly Fickerson

With the last 15 minutes left, Fillmore was determined to regain their lead, but the Dragons were fired up. They played hard, and their first goal helped to feed their stamina.

Claire Meehan ‘23 soon scored the second goal when she lofted the ball over the Fillmore keeper in miraculous fashion. The stadium exploded when the shot escaped through her hands and into the net to make the score 2-1 with 12 minutes left. With just 10 minutes left, Shadden made her way to the goal but collided with a Fillmore player, severely injuring her wrist during a fall. 

After Shadden was forced to the bench, Foothill Tech continued to play fiercely for their lead goal scorer. The defenders played strong, and Malia Sanchez ‘23 stopped a possible goal for Fillmore.

As the time ticked to the last minutes, Fillmore continued to keep the ball on the Dragons side of the field, but were unable to convert a goal. As the time finished, the team jumped up and down together as they won their first CIF game 2-1. Fallon commented, “It feels really good, my first CIF win with this team. It was really exciting.” 

Towards the end of the first half, the goalie, Addi Fallon ’25 (number 0), dives to the ground, grabbing the soccer ball before it can go anywhere near the goal. This was one of her many successful blocked goals of the night. (Rihanna Samples)

Looking back at the game, Sanchez explained the win: “It was really relieving especially after the first half. It was really nerve racking while we were playing it but now that it is over it feels so good.” Sanchez also remarked that one of the enjoyable parts of the game was “the energy, the excitement, the heart we shared with our teammates.” 

When asked what the team should work on for the next game, Fallon explained, “I think we need to come out a lot more confident. Sanchez also stated, “We definitely need to start with a cooler head. Our first half we were panicked and all over the place and that just made it so much harder.”

As the temperature dropped the spirit of the girls’ soccer team rose as they looked towards the second round. Their high seeding landed them another home game, and they will take on Ontario Christian High School at Ventura College on Friday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.

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