Falcons prevail 3-1 against Hillsboro in girls soccer action

First game, first win.

Liberty forward Bianca Andrade broke up a 1-1 tie with a second-half goal and the Falcons added an insurance tally later in the stanza to secure a 3-1 victory against crosstown rival Hillsboro on Tuesday at Liberty High School.

The match was the season opener for both sides and turned into a nice early-season test.

“I thought they played really well,” Liberty coach Jim Maine said of Hilhi. “It’s a good team.”

The Falcons struck first in the opening half on a goal by Maria Tellez, who was assisted by Yesenia Rivera. Liberty won the ball in its offensive third and Rivera sent a pass wide to Tellez, who finished past Spartan goalkeeper Emily Jones.

Hilhi didn’t go away though, tying the match late in the period. Brianna Miyama received a throw-in from Sami Moellmer, took a couple of touches and finished for the equalizer.

Though the Spartans maintained possession for stretches of the second half, they had some difficulty turning that possession into solid scoring chances against the Falcons’ defense and senior keeper Katie Blake. Instead, it was Liberty that capitalized midway through the half, when Andrade finished on a through ball from Liz Banning. The Falcons’ third goal came after a short corner by Mia Casteneda that bounced off of a couple players and which Maine characterized as an own goal.

“For our first game, it was good. I was impressed at halftime, I mean the whole game,” Hilhi coach Dean Miyama said. “Score doesn’t show it, but that’s soccer, right? I thought we controlled a lot of the possession. We did a lot of stuff that we’ve been working on in training.

“Aside from the score, aside from the result, nothing to be upset about. We played well.”

As for Liberty, the Falcons graduated eight seniors from their 2012 squad, so Maine has some new pieces with which to work this season and the match was his first chance to see them in a true game situation.

“The first few games are really good learning tools,” Maine said. “We did some self-critiquing at halftime, and again after the match comparing the two halves. The girls know what we need to work on, which is nice, because if you can critique yourself, you can get better. This game left us with probably more than a few things to work on and get better on as a team, but I was really pleased with the way that I think we did play a better second half than a first.”

Both squads were scheduled to be back in action on Thursday. The Spartans hosted Sandy, while the Falcons took on Glencoe at Hare Field.

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