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Colusa, Willows battle to stalemate
A burst of intensity early in the second half was enough for the Colusa High girls soccer team to earn a tie with Willows on Wednesday after falling behind two goals, but the host Honkers clamped down in the final 30 minutes to earn a 2-2 tie.
Willows scored twice in the first half but the RedHawks tied the game with two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
"I think at half, when we were talking, they thought they had them. We definitely didn't have them yet, we've got to finish out the game," said Willows coach Bud Ramirez.
Samantha Espindola found space in the middle in the 46th minute and scored on a breakaway for Colusa's first goal of the game. Three minutes later, Anel Sanchez sent the ball in front of the goal and Stephanie Munguia kicked it in to tie the match.
The Honkers regrouped and kept the RedHawks out of the net the rest of the game, but were unable to summon the success they had in the first half on offense.
"That's been a little bit of our problem lately, just like the last game. We played a good half, the second half we just fell apart a little bit," Ramirez said.
Munguia nearly scored the go-ahead goal in injury time, but Willows goalkeeper Jennifer Chappell made a nice sliding save to her right. Moments later, Honkers striker Lynnete Perez countered with a desperate push toward the RedHawk net but her shot hit the side of the goal.
Neither team had a clear advantage in time of possession, but the Honkers made the most of their opportunities in the first half.
Willows (3-5-1, 1-1 SVL-II) took the lead in the 17th minute when Perez caught a Colusa defender off guard, stole the ball in front of the RedHawks goal and scored.
Stephanie Carriere pushed the Honkers' lead to 2-0 in the 24th minute, scoring on a second-chance shot off a rebound.
Another strong game by midfielder Rebecca Velazquez helped Colusa (3-3-4) overcome the sluggish start.
"We were kind of off-track and then we got back on. We did better passing, more communication and we didn't bunch as much," Velazquez said.
RedHawks coach Amanda Jones credited Velazquez and Munguia for turning things around at halftime.
"I noticed that (Velazquez and Munguia) at half were just really intense. They came out in the second half and were just totally different players," said Jones, who added that their energy was contagious and helped spark the comeback in the second half.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.