Girls Soccer Shows Promise in Tournament

Despite an opening loss, the Weston Ranch girls soccer team put themselves in contention for a championship at the Vern Gebhardt Champion Cup at Sierra High over the weekend.

Showing tenacity on defense, the Cougars (0-3-2) rebounded from a loss to Atwater with back-to-back ties with Buckingham Charter and Grace Davis. Angelique Moreno scored Weston Ranch’s first goal of the season, the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with the Spartans in the final game of Gold Bracket play. Moreno punched home a rebound off Montserrat Ruiz Perez’s volley, answering Davis’ late-game strike.

Coach Gabe Padilla commended the team’s resiliency on a weekend when their depth was tested by illness and SATs.

“The bench stepped up their game all weekend long,” he said.

After yielding seven goals in an opening-game loss to the Falcons, the defense surrendered just one goal over the final 120 minutes of tournament play. The defense was anchored by Crystal Chavez, Maria Alvarado, Valeria Aguilar, Lesley Mendez, and America Chavez. Goalie Kehura Ellerbe had 14 saves in three games, highlighted by a tournament-best eight saves in a shutout against Buckingham Charter. She preserved the tie with a kick save to thwart a one-on-one chance early in the second half.

“We were very pesky on defense all weekend and had control of the second and third games,” Padilla said, “but we had missed opportunities that we didn’t convert.”

The Cougars hosted Bret Harte on Tuesday (losing 3-1) and round out the week tonight against Pacheco. The JV will take the field at 4, and the Varsity follows at 5:45 p.m.