Richmond girls soccer coach Felipe Franco

Richmond High girls soccer falls to Mt. Diablo 3-2

on November 27, 2012

If coaching was solely about wins and losses, Felipe Franco would not be here.

Although his Richmond High School girl’s soccer team was defeated 3-2 by the Mt. Diablo Red Devils Tuesday night, Franco was reminded about why he enjoys the job.

“You know what I like about coaching? They enjoy doing this,” Franco said about his team. “They know that they lost, or may lose the game, but they put a lot of effort in.”

The match was the second on the season for the Oilers, who also lost their first against DeAnza, and it was an opportunity for Franco to fine-tune his personnel.

“I am adjusting to the players that I have,” Franco said. “I am still finding the positions they need to play. Even though we lost, I saw some improvement compared to the first game.”

The Oilers were lucky to escape the first 40 minutes of action only down 1-0. The Red Devils had multiple chances in front of Richmond’s goal, and finally they converted 15 minutes into the game.

After the play, Franco yelled to his goalkeeper Eleana Ellner, “Esta Bien!”

At halftime, Franco huddled his players together talking to them about adjustments that he wanted them to make. “We can do it,” he said.

The adjustments did not work. Less than a minute into the second half the Devils got on the scoreboard with a second goal after a forward for Mt. Diablo broke through the Oilers’ defense.

After the Oilers managed their first shot of the half, the Red Devils responded and added their third goal of the match, on a long lead pass from a Mt. Diablo defender up to her teammate, who collected the ball and buried it into the goal.

With 60 minutes of action in the books, the Oilers responded with their best play of the night. After a Mt. Diablo player tried to clear the ball out of her team’s zone, Oiler junior and captain Maria Navarro collected the ball at her feet.

Navarro lofted the ball from 30 yards out toward the Red Devils’ goal, and it just found its way over the goalkeeper’s head and into the goal.

“I noticed that the goalie was out, and I tried to shoot it and see what would happen,” Navarro said. “I was taking a risk, but I guess it was a good choice.”

Fifteen minutes later, the Oilers struck again with a goal by junior Stephanie Ochoa, as she slipped it past the Red Devils’ goalkeeper.

Following the goal, Franco yelled “Pressure!” to his players. The Oiler reserves chanted, “Let’s go Oilers,” on the bench.

“The last 20 minutes they were playing really hard,” Franco said. “They felt more confident. Our defenders improved and I was able to make the corrections.”

Ochoa and Navarro both commented on the fact that teamwork and communication helped their team fight back into the game, and cut the Red Devils’ lead to one.

Although he was happy with how his team responded, Franco said he still was looking for more from his team. He wanted his players to be more aggressive, offensively and defensively.

Navarro was looking for her team to continue to bond and work together. “I actually want to make the team get closer to each other,” she said. “I just want us to be a little more together so we can experience a good season.”

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