Acacia Cougars take a bite out of North Mountain’s Lady Huskies

Despite the Cougars’ win, both teams made the playoffs

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Coach Joel Osuna discusses strategy with his Huskies at halftime. Acacia, in blue, would take this game 2-1.

■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

Anyone who says watching women’s sports isn’t exciting did not watch the North Mountain Lady Huskies’ soccer team take on the Acacia Cougars last Thursday. With a championship on the line, the presently No. 1-ranking Huskies had a record to defend.
Acacia quickly took control of the ball after kickoff, and within five minutes, Cougar Maya Benjamin had taken this game to 2-nil….the second goal within a minute of the first. The two teams kept the ball moving through the rest of the first half, but not the score.
After Huskies Coach Joel Osuna spent time getting his Lady Huskies in the game, the second half kicked off with a little lackluster. That was, until Jocelyn Miranda took advantage of the Cougars’ goalkeeper to bring in the first Huskies goal of the afternoon. Several attempts by the Huskies were made to equalize… but each narrowly missed. Today went back to Hemet with the Lady Cougars 2-1.
While today may have been a tough loss for North Mountain, Osuna still thinks highly of his team.
“I’m actually very happy, because now we know exactly what we need to work on…We’re eager.”
Over on the Acacia side of the field, Coach Elias Lopez couldn’t contain his excitement about this win.
“We needed a win in order to secure a spot in the playoffs…I knew North Mountain wasn’t going to give up that easily. I reminded the girls to stay focused because anything can happen with time on the clock,” said Lopez. “A few minutes later, luck was once again on our side. A defender was returning the ball to her goal keeper and as I opened my eyes from a blink, there was Maya Benjamin rushing in like “The Flash” to intercept the ball and smashed it into the back of the net! GOOOOAAALLL!”
But thanks to this win, both teams made the playoffs! You can track these two teams’ postseason at nmms.sanjacinto.k12.ca.us/ and acacia.hemetusd.org.

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