This article was written by BenitoLink intern Michael Koteles
In a first for Hollister High School, the girls soccer team won the CIF Northern California Division 5 regionals by defeating Lowell High School 1-0 on March 4.
Freshman Zamaya Rivera scored the game’s lone goal with about 25 minutes left in the game.
Rivera chased down a ball just outside the penalty box that the Lowell defense had cleared, off a corner kick. After taking a touch to dribble away from a Lowell player, she made a 90-degree turn as she kicked the ball, which flew past the goalkeeper’s reach in the top right corner.
The Balers did not concede a goal during its historic run, outscoring its rivals 15-0 and beating both Hamilton Union and Stone Ridge Christian 7-0 in the opening and semifinal rounds of the Northern California playoffs.
Rivera led the Balers offense in the semifinal round, scoring the first two goals in the 13th and 19th minutes. Hollister had a 4-0 lead at halftime, and the two other goals were made by Jimena Heredia and Elyssa Hernandez—whose shot was from 35 yards out. Balers outshot the Knights 13-0 in the first half.
The Balers kept the pressure up in the second half, receiving goals from Sydney Stacy, Lauren Green and McKenzie Heckman in stoppage time.
In the opening game, played in pouring rain, Hollister defeated Hamilton Union with an early goal. Trinity Arias scored on a penalty kick about 10 minutes into the game. That gave Hollister plenty of momentum and the goals continued in after that.
As was the case with the semifinal game, the Balers took a 4-0 lead into the half and finished the job in the second by adding three more goals.
Hollister qualified for the Northern California regionals as the Central Coast Section Division 4 champions. They defeated Soledad 4-3 in the championship game; Everett Alvarez 2-1 in the semifinal; and More 10-0 in the opening round.
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