Lady Tigers succumb to Hemet Bulldogs

San Jacinto’s Varsity Soccer Girls experienced a rough day against Hemet on Wednesday, Hemet winning 2-nil

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
SJ Goalkeeper Solia Figueroa, in pink, rejects a Bulldog attempt on the goal. Solia just signed on at Graceland U in Iowa.

■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

Old rivalries run deep between competitors, especially in local school sports. This also holds true for girls, as the varsity soccer girls from Hemet and San Jacinto high schools met at Tiger Stadium in San Jacinto last Wednesday. It was interesting to note that both the Tigers’ goalkeepers were sporting injuries, one of whom (Jenny Becerra) would be absent this game. But even with handicaps, both teams were ready to kick down.
As the game got underway, Ana Barajas tended the goal for the home side. But the visiting Bulldogs’ goalkeeper was ready for the challenge, fending off the Tigers’ first attempt. The big cats and the big dogs kept on each other, matching move for move throughout the first half. Neither team blinked. Neither team scored.
After Coaches Jose Guzman and Ana reviewed strengths and weaknesses from the first half, the claws came out on both sides in the second half. The Tigers tried to keep on the Bulldogs but one of them tripped and the Tigers took the blame. This gave Hemet a penalty kick and the first goal of the game. The Tigers netted a would-be equalizer, but the referees disqualified it on a technicality. Tiger fans were not happy about that, but the call stood. And to add insult to an injury, Hemet added a second goal to their count with less than two minutes still in it. This sealed the deal for Hemet, 2-nil.
San Jacinto Coach Ann Eichmann understands her team’s frustration: “We had several opportunities that we weren’t able to complete on and ultimately that led us to losing. Luck wasn’t on our side.”
And what about that would-be goal in second half? “It went out of bounds, so that was a good call by the ref. One of our players said she saw it hit the football post.”
Despite a tough loss today, there was a silver lining for one Lady Tiger: “Solia Figueroa just signed with Graceland University out of Iowa.”
Congratulations are definitely in order for Solia! If you have a class with her, be sure to send her some love.
As this season draws to a close, the Lady Tigers are at press time 5-9-5 for the season, and 0-5-2 in Mountain Pass League. But even though San Jacinto went to CIF last year, playing to make San Jacinto students past and present proud is good enough for the Tigers this year, Eichmann said.

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