Lady vikes against the elements

Cole Hundtoft

The battlefield was strewn with rainwater as the Lady Vikes came to fight Warren on a rainy, Jan. 26th night. The Varsity Girls’ Soccer team clashed with Warren throughout the night, but sadly tied our rivals with a score of 1-1. Both teams wrestled with and against the weather as temperature dropped into the low 50s, not including rain and wind chill. Some players that were watching on the bench wrapped themselves in blankets or jogged on the sideline just to keep warm or stop from getting too tight before going back into the game. The conditions would take its toll on both teams as they fought into overtime.

In the weeks leading up to the Warren game, some varsity girls were confident about beating the Bears.

“I trust our defense to stop Warren,” Briana Bobadilla said three weeks before the big game.

But the biggest problem facing the girls was trying to finish games on a strong note. The lady Vikes have had problems scoring or maintaining the lead in past games.

Brandi Neilan said, “There’s always room for improvement.”

The Downey girls have been trying to fix this problem in their practice, but improvement in something like this doesn’t happen overnight.

Whether it was fatigue, the temperature, or the fact that Briana Bobadilla received a red card early in the first half and forced the girls to play the remaining hour of the game down a player; they couldn’t take control of the game like they expected to do. Warren scored off the red card foul, but luckily, junior Brandi Neilan scored for the Lady Vikes very early in the first half, before the game became 9 vs. 10.

As the ball traveled up and down the field without success, players of both teams would get spurts of energy that came from their teammates and the crowd, but cheering doesn’t put points on the scoreboard. The game became a back-and-forth battle with the weather and referees that, according to the crowds, didn’t make a single fair call the whole game. Regardless of the outside circumstances, the game remained tied up until the last second of regulation.

Darkness shone through the overcast clouds at the start of overtime. The girls prepped for the final upcoming minutes of the game huddled together. When the game started again, there was an overall sense of urgency among the athletes playing and watching. Both teams played their hardest in overtime, but the score remained unchanged for the rest of the game.

There’s no doubt that Downey’s soccer girls were unsatisfied with the tie. After the post-game chat with their coach, the girls dispersed amongst their friends and family that supported them throughout the entire game.

Even though the game didn’t end as hoped, Downey’s varsity soccer girls must live by the words captain Crystal Fresquez said, “One game doesn’t define a team.”