Maranatha girls’ soccer came out strong by keeping pressure on the South El Monte’s defense while maintaining possession. The Minutemen’s first shot on goal came from Morgan Howe (#12) in the 13th minute of play. Howe took the ball down the weak side of the field and launched a left-footed shot with an Eagle’s defender glued to her right side. The ball placement was right on target and bounced into the back of the net to give Maranatha a 1-0 lead.
South El Monte would get a chance to tie the game in the 32nd minute as Maranatha’s Goalkeeper, Tatum French, received a yellow-card in the box for colliding with an Eagles player. Stephanie Esparaza was chosen to take the penalty kick and favorably chose the left side of the net, bringing the Eagles even with the Minutemen 1-1.
The second half star for South El Monte was their Goalkeeper, Lizbet Arana. She single-handedly kept the Eagles alive by holding the Minutemen scoreless until the 77th minute, when Katy Coats happened.
Coats (#9) received the ball on the left side of the field than began drifting towards the middle of the field. Coats saw an opening, took her shot and watched the ball soar over the goalie’s head, under the crossbar and into the back of the net, clinching the victory for Maranatha 2-1.
The South El Monte Eagles finished their season with a record of 12-5-2. They were the second seed coming out of the Mission Valley League, edging out a tied record with Marshall High School.
Maranatha advances to the quarterfinals this Thursday, Feb. 26th against San Gorgonio at 5 p.m. San Gorgonio beat Duarte 2-0 in their previous match. It’s squaring up to be an exciting match.