San Benito's Daniela Ocampo flattens the Alvarez goalie during Friday's sloppy win over the Eagles.

San Benito pockets much-needed 4-1 victory over Alvarez Friday,
despite wet conditions

No one ever accused San Benito of dirty play.

But with Friday’s game against Everett Alvarez turning into a battle with Mother Nature, it’d be tough not to describe San Benito’s play – and Alvarez’, for that matter – as anything but.

Needing each and every victory from here on out, the Lady ‘Balers soccer team delivered a sloppy 4-1 win Friday, despite continuous showers turning the natural grass pitch into a water-filled ditch.

San Benito improves to 6-2-2 in the Tri-County Athletic League with the win and falls back into second place for the time being. Salinas (6-4-1) and Notre Dame (5-1-4), however, are both tied for third place and sit just one point behind the Lady ‘Balers.

Moderate rains forced Friday’s game to be played on the smaller junior varsity field, where players couldn’t help but take distant shots that quickly skidded toward the net.

Of course, that is unless the ball didn’t quickly stop in the sizable pools in front of either goal.

The wet playing field certainly added another dimension to Friday’s game, though. Although the Lady ‘Balers handled the Eagles (2-9 TCAL, 7-11) by a comfortable 5-1 margin in their previous game, San Benito head coach Ben Alvarez still had plenty to be concerned about.

“I was concerned because all it was gonna take is for them to take some hard shots,” Alvarez said. “If they take some long shots, it’s gonna be tough. Anything can happen.”

But although the Eagles did manage to tie the game at 1-all in the 30th minute, when a free kick bounced off keeper Emily Key’s hands and right to an Eagle attacker, San Benito managed to stave off nearly every other Alvarez attempt for the remainder of the game.

“We had to prevent them from taking shots from the 18,” Alvarez said. “We had to stop them there.”

The Lady ‘Balers, which went up 1-0 after Hannah Cobb deposited her 21st goal of the season in the first half, scored three unanswered goals after the Eagles tied it, including one just before halftime.

Yaira Lizarraga’s corner kick in the 33rd minute went out toward midfield, only to be kicked back into the crowded box where Marissa Adame was waiting. The freshman’s first shot was stuffed, however, but her second shot, which was among as many as four Eagle defenders, easily found the back of the net.

San Benito tacked on a third goal in the 62nd minute when Sophie Coelho somehow found enough of a footing to dribble around two defenders and power a shot from 15 yards out to give the Lady ‘Balers a 3-1 lead.

Four minutes later, a Samantha Moreno cross from the right side was one-timed into the net by Daniela Ocampo, who did so with two Alvarez defenders on her back, no less.

The game was called four minutes short, however, after Cobb and an Alvarez midfielder collided on the players’ sideline and knocked knees. Both players had to carried off the field as a result.

Coach Alvarez said Cobb will be OK, though.

San Benito, with just two games remaining, will visit Salinas in a must-win game at The Pit on Wednesday at 5 p.m. On Friday, the Lady ‘Balers will host Gilroy.

“Obviously, we want to win both games,” Alvarez said. “We don’t want to just make it in there. We want it to be definite.”

For it to be definite, San Benito (14-3-3) would need to earn a top-two spot in the TCAL, which can only happen if they win their last two games, beginning with Salinas on Wednesday.

“We’ve got to beat Salinas,” Alvarez said.

TEAM 1 2 F

EA 1 0 1

SB 2 2 4


2nd – San Benito, 6-2-2 – @ Salinas, v. Gilroy

3rd – Salinas, 6-4-1 – v. San Benito

3rd – Notre Dame, 5-1-4 – v. North Salinas, @ Everett Alvarez

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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