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Soccer team huddles after loss

Still looking for first win, Oilers perform better against Salesian

on December 21, 2012

The Oilers’ home match against Salesian on Thursday night turned out to be another loss, 1-0, but it was a much-improved effort all around by the Richmond squad, particularly the Oiler’s goalkeeper Eleana Ellner.

“I just felt really confident,” said Ellner, after the game. “And my team was playing really well and that made me feel better.”

Playing goalie for the Richmond girl’s soccer team is not an easy task. The Oilers have yet to win one game this season, with some of their losses ending with scores of seven… eight… and even 10 to zero.

Ellner had just walked off the field after her team lost to the Pride, but she couldn’t help but smile about her performance.

The junior was peppered with shots from Salesian players throughout the night, but with a little help from her crossbar, she only let in one goal in the first half. Her strong play continued in the second half, including two saves at point-blank range late in the game.

“She made a difference,” Oiler Head Coach Felipe Franco said of Ellner.

For a team with a 0-11 record on the season it can be hard for those involved to have a positive outlook. But Franco and the Oiler players have stayed optimistic.

“The good thing about my team is that we support each other no matter what,” sophomore captain Yessenia Vasquez said. “If there is good or wrong, no matter if we lose or win, we can always have a good time.”

The strong breeze and cool weather made for an uncomfortable viewing experience for the spectators and not many braced the cold.

Two fans that did were Jorge and Marie Castro. The Castros, who have seen the Oilers play at home and road games this season, were bundled up as they watched their daughter Shaden, a freshman on the team.

“They are playing so much better than before,” said Marie at halftime.

“I think they are doing a great job,” Jorge said.

During the second half, with his team staying close, Franco echoed the sentiment from the Castros, while talking to his players.

“I think they are a good team but we are getting better,” Franco said. “I know we are not winning but this is good for us.

After the game he was happy that his team was more aggressive against Salesian, but he was disappointed that one of his players received a red card for overaggressive play.

“You want to keep the game clean no matter what,” Franco said.

Still, after losing to Antioch and Albany High Schools in blowout losses earlier in the week, Franco was cautiously optimistic about his teams’ play.

“They put more effort this time out there,” Franco said. “Let’s hope they can keep doing the same thing.”

Win or lose, the Castros, who both graduated from Richmond High School, will return to watch the Oilers play.

“I am going to be with daughter no matter what,” Jorge said.” Even if they lost, or they won, I am going to be with her, forever. So, go Richmond High. Go Richmond High.”

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