Goose Creek Memorial’s Kayleen Figueroa, 7, battles Sterling’s Yazerzi Trejo during Saturday’s matchup between rivals. GCM won 4-0.

Duo scores twice in win

The big question coming into the season for the Goose Creek Memorial girls soccer team was how the veteran core would mesh with the talented freshmen.

So far, a 9-0-1 record heading into District 22-5A play answers that and Saturday’s 4-0 triumph at rival Sterling High School was a prime example.

Senior Tania Rodriguez and freshman Kennedy Tristan each recorded two goals apiece as the Lady Patriots pulled away after a 1-0 halftime lead.

“We’ll take it,” GCM head coach Roman Huizar said. “It was a such a slow start it was getting worrisome. We were controlling possession and we had a lot of opportunities to put the ball into the back of the net and failed to do so. 

“It’s a rivalry game so we always know we are going to get their best. It was a good test for us.”

Rodriguez scored in the 18th minute when Lauren Benavides drove a ball in from the right side of goal and she was able to pounce on the rebound. She added another score in the 54th minute.

Tristan tallied scores in the 45th minute on a drive from 25 yards out that bounced off the post and into the back of the net. But it was her cheeky score in the 73rd minute that brought the GCM fans to delight.

“She’s going to be a special player as she continues to mature,” Huizar said. “That was very calm, cool and collected.”

The midfielder shook the last line of defense and facing a 1-v-1 against the Sterling goalie, slotted an offspeed roller into the bottom right corner of goal to finish the game off.

GCM goaltender Syndie Gustavus made a diving safe late to preserve the shutout after a strong Sterling run at goal.

“It was not the result we wanted; we played a good first half,” Sterling head coach Clyde Messiah said. “After the second goal we tensed up a little bit and that hung around a little bit.”

Sterling was without four starters who missed the match due to illness and personal matters.

“All things considered, not the worst outcome for us,” Messiah said. “Our defense is playing a lot better. Our goal differential is about half of what it was last year.”

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