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Richmond girls soccer coach Felipe Franco

Oilers lose to El Cerrito Thursday night

on December 14, 2012

After a 10-0 loss to the hands of the El Cerrito Gauchos on Thursday night, the Richmond girl’s soccer team shook hands with their opponents, collected their belongings and began to make their way from the field.

There were no inspirational speeches by head coach Felipe Franco, no players-only meetings, nor any tears shed after the defeat.

The Oilers, still searching for their first win on the season, took the long walk to the team bus.

“Nobody really knows what it feels like to be on the team,” said junior Maria Navarro. “It is a commitment and even though we lose most of the time, I am so proud of wearing this shirt,” she said.

There is no easy way to wipe the memory of a large defeat, but the beauty of sports is the chance to forget about a loss and move on to the next opponent.

The Oilers, whose record is now 0-9 on the season, will travel to Antioch on Monday night for a non-league match against the Panthers.

For Franco, the most frustrating aspect of Thursday’s match was how the performance of his players slipped after their most recent contest.

On Tuesday evening, the Oilers were tied 0-0 at halftime with St. Mary’s, a team he and his players were expecting to be a tough opponent. Although his team eventually lost 4-0, he felt his young and inexperienced squad was turning the corner.

But after Thursday’s loss, Franco was rethinking that sentiment.

“I thought we had improved last game,” Franco said. “But it doesn’t feel like that.”

The Gauchos controlled every aspect of the match. Their ball handling was crisper and their ball possession much stronger. The Oilers lacked the intensity necessary to wrestle the ball from their opponents and to force the issue offensively.

At halftime, the Gauchos carried a 7-0 lead.

Even after the loss, Navarro was still positive about how her team was coming together. She equated her team’s improved confidence with the reason why the Oilers played well in the first half against St. Mary’s.

Undoubtedly it will be teamwork and togetherness that will help the Oilers get past this loss and push on to their next match.

“Even though the score wasn’t all that satisfactory, you can’t give up,” Navarro said. “You still have to have some faith.”

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