The Bloomington High School soccer ladies are enjoying a good year, and the reason is because of their positive attitudes, according to co-captain Krystalle Lagunas.
“If you don’t play with heart, there’s no reason to play,” she said. “My whole team plays with heart. We all play together. We all play with heart. That’s all that matters.”
As a result, the Bruins were in first place after the first round of the Sunkist League season with a 4-0-1 record (11-1-3 overall).
On Jan. 22, five different Bruins found the back of the net in a 6-1 win over Summit at the Ralph M. Lewis Sports Complex.
Lagunas led the way, scoring twice. She said she was able to score because all of the members of the team were doing their jobs.
“Honestly, our middle is super strong,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team. They were giving me good balls. That helped me a lot.”
Bloomington coach Lupe Lopez said Lagunas is having a solid season.
“Krystalle has been playing great,” Lopez said. “She’s having a great year, a lot of assists. Not only is she scoring, but she’s also getting others involved.”
He added he liked the way the Bruins performed against the SkyHawks.
“We just came out, played our game, touched the ball, created chances,” he said. “We had some great goals from a lot of the girls.”
Lopez also said it was nice to see so many goals by so many players being scored in one game.
“We emphasize finishing,” he said. “We’ve been having chances. We just haven’t been able to put them in the back of the net. So, today it was good to see that multiple girls actually got it done.”
Bloomington got on the board first in the 10th minute. Following a corner kick, Ashley Hernandez scored off a cross from teammate Jaidyn Jacobs.
Following Lagunas’ first goal, Bloomington made it 3-0 in the 27th minute when Zuhayle Diaz got the ball on a breakaway from Jacobs and put it past Summit goalkeeper Mikayla O’Brien.
Bloomington capped off the scoring with late goals by Valerie Valencia and Natalie Muro in the 66th minute and 78th minute, respectively.
Summit coach Steve Jennings said playing games like this is a learning process. And since he has a young team, the players will probably learn from it.
“We make too many mental errors,” he said. “We dominated for the first 10 minutes. Then all hell broke loose. It’s hard to recover. That’s what we’re working on mainly. Make a mistake, it’s OK, but how do you recover? That’s one of the things we’re working on. They all work hard.”
Despite being charged with six goals, O’Brien made some rather extraordinary saves in front of the net that kept the SkyHawks in the match for a while.
"I don’t think my goalkeeper gave up six goals,” Jennings said of O’Brien’s efforts. “I think the team gave up six goals. The goalie does a phenomenal job. She is amazing. She’s a great kid.”
O’Brien said she is a better goalkeeper for being on this team, adding there is still more she can work on with the SkyHawks.
“It’s good practice for me,” she said. “It’s tough. I need to communicate with the girls more. Everyone needs to work together.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)