Eagles women’s soccer falls to Uvalde

Renata Osorio fights to break away from two Uvalde players in the Eagles’ 2-0 loss on Friday. J GARCIA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

After two consecutive wins on the road, the Pleasanton women’s soccer team couldn’t start spring break with a win.

On Friday, Pleasanton (11-9-3, 6-3-2) fell to Uvalde (14-4-1, 8-1-1) 2-0 with only two games left before playoffs begin.

“We knew that Uvalde was good; they beat us 2-0 the first time we played,” Pleasanton Head Coach Brant Bird said. “We changed up our strategy a little bit to kind of counteract the way we played the first time.”

The plan was to move some of the players around to different positions from the last time the teams met.

The Lobos ended the first half with two goals, including in the 27th minute when Arissa Perez put a ball in the net from inside the 18-yard box.

Being down two goals at halftime, Pleasanton needed a change.

“We tried to counteract their speed,” Bird said. “So dropping a little bit deeper with our defenders, and then telling the girls about defensively not stabbing at the ball, but just being patient, and then about midway through the half, I changed our formation.”

The change from a 3-4-2-1 formation to a 3-5-2 formation did keep Uvalde scoreless, but the offense didn’t get them back in the game.

“We just didn’t have the scoring opportunities we’d hoped for and we’ve been struggling with that all year long,” Bird said.

Kenley Everett battles for possession with a Uvalde player on Friday. J GARCIA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

“We’ve been tweaking different things, so we’ll go back and try something different and see what happens.”

On Tuesday, Pleasanton traveled to Poteet and won 7-0 and beat Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) 7-0 on Wednesday.

“We used those games to practice what we were going to do for this game, so we had confidence coming into this game,” said Zariah Garcia.

Bird said, after the YWLA win, the team was feeling great going into the final game before spring break. But, the loss against Uvalde left a sour taste in the team’s mouth.

Garcia said the halftime talk they had with each other helped straighten out their communication problems and got them on the same page, but it was just too late.

Kaitlyn Garcia and the rest of the team are working to finish strong after the loss.

“We can’t connect our passes right now, but we are working on that everyday,” said K. Garcia. “Sometimes we get clustered and we start getting excited that we’re up top and we just start losing the ball.”

She said the offense has to come alive and they have to make goals.

There were three times during the game where Pleasanton had a shot at the goal, but the balls were either kicked right to the goalie or kicked wide-right of the goal.

Uvalde controlled the ball most of the game and kept in on Pleasanton’s side.

Captain Renata Osorio said the team has a great backbone, but the offense needs to catch up.

“Once we get to the other end of the field, we struggle to find the net. That’s pretty much it. We have to improve before playoffs,” Osorio said.

Pleasanton is currently in third place and will finish with that position if they win one of their last two games.

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