Richmond falls to Mt. Diablo in final home match of the season
on January 21, 2013
On Saturday afternoon the girls’ soccer teams from Mt. Diablo and Richmond High Schools faced off against each other.
The two teams last met in late November at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, when Mt. Diablo’s Red Devils defeated Richmond’s Oilers 3-2. This time, they were playing at Richmond High School in the final home game of the 2012-13 season for the Oilers. But much was the same: The Red Devils took an early lead in the game, and the Oilers came on strong late, before just running out of time. Once again, the final score was 3-2 in favor of the Red Devils.
Coming into the match, the meeting with Mt. Diablo was the best chance for the Richmond girls to a win a game this season. Oiler head coach Felipe Franco was happy with his team’s recent performances and Franco hoped Saturday would be another positive showing.
But early on, Mt. Diablo took the lead; the Oilers had trouble possessing the ball and were not playing aggressively. The Red Devils scored a goal less than ten minutes into the half, and another before halftime, making the score 2-0.
The Richmond players grabbed water and headed to the locker room, hoping to reclaim some energy during the ten-minute break. The Oiler players looked tired as the warm afternoon sun—and the fact that the Oilers only had a few subs—tested their stamina.
“I cannot believe this,” said Franco as he watched the game from the sidelines. “We had such a good game [on Thursday], and today? Nothing.”
The Oilers responded with much improved play in the second half. Franco adjusted the team’s formation: moving a player from defense to a forward position to apply more offensive pressure on the Red Devils. The strategy worked, as a dozen minutes into the second half, junior Stephanie Ochoa scored to cut the Red Devils’ lead in half.
The goal seemed to relax the Richmond players, improving their play. The Oilers drew a free kick in the Red Devils’ half, and a corner kick, giving them opportunities to score.
But just when it looked like the Oilers might tie the game, a Mt. Diablo player ran down the right side of the field, crossed the ball in front of the Oilers’ goal, and a teammate kicked the ball into the net.
By now the Red Devils had a 3-1 lead with approximately 20 minutes left.
With only a few minutes remained in the match, Richmond scored its second goal when multiple players broke through the Red Devils’ line of defense and freshman Merari Castillo took a shot that was partially deflected by Mt. Diablo’s goalie. Sophomore Crystal Ochoa, Stephanie’s younger sister, slammed the ball into the back of the net.
After the final whistle, smiles were on the faces of sisters Crystal and Stephanie Ochoa. For Stephanie Ochoa, her goal was her second this season against Mt. Diablo. “I was kind of hoping I was going to score a goal, because I scored one last time,” she said after the match. “I kind of felt proud of myself.”
The Oilers finish out their season with two matches this week. The first coming on Tuesday at Salesian High School at 3:30 p.m. and their season finale will take place on Thursday at St. Joseph-Notre Dame High School in Alameda at 6:00 p.m.
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