Villa Park women’s soccer deploys creative attack to beat Esperanza in emotional match – Orange County Register

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ANAHEIM – Esperanza’s women’s soccer team showed its heart on Tuesday with an emotional tribute to a young girl who courageously battled a rare brain tumor.

Villa Park has shown the progress of the refurbished attack.

The Spartans dominated the game in the Crestview League but the scoreboard showing their 4-0 win also carried a special message about the Aztec player of honor, Jocelyn Saldivar.

Esperanza has hung a banner dedicated to the 11-year-old boy who died on November 10, 2021 after battling glioblastoma, a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor.

“Your wings are ready but our hearts are not,” reads the poster, which shows a smiling Saldivar in a football uniform.

Saldivar attended the nearby Travis Ranch School and had two 12-year-old twin siblings who wanted to attend Esperanza.

Villa Park’s future as a No. 1 contender remains bright as speed winger Rylee Lewis has two goals and one assist, as well as freshman Rylie Whittaker and senior Brooke Ketner Each person scores an extra table.

Sparta, last season’s Division 1 runner-up to Harvard-Westlake, broke through in the 24th minute and added shots in the 36th and 37th minutes to take control before halftime.

Villa Park (10-3-2, 2-0) scores each goal differently, showing a team-oriented approach to replacing high-scoring striker and OC player of the year Aaliyah Farmer, currently at USC.

“We’re trying to be more creative,” said Villa Park coach Breanna Carrillo, whose team finished 5th in Division 1. “We worked a lot in practice and they really mixed in. into it, and every game we keep improving. We had some nice goals today. We had some good combinations.

“That’s how you play football,” she said, “just finding each other.”

Whittaker scored in the 24th minute after Villa Park caught Esperanza (5-5-2, 1-1) off guard with a short cross from a corner from Jessica Ramirez, the former Aztec player. Whittaker quickly cut the sole of his right foot from inside the box into the far upper corner.

Esperanza’s defense was almost at halftime with no further damage but the Spartans had a strong finish.

Lewis dribbled down the right flank and crossed into the box for Ketner, whose right-footed shot from close range made it 2-0.

About a minute later, Lewis combined with senior striker Samantha Behnke in a fierce pass to mount a lightning counter-attack. Lewis completed the play by running into the box to make a lead pass from near the penalty area.

“We’re all just starting to really connect,” said Lewis, who scored from about 25 yards out with a left-footed shot in the 69th minute. “At first, it was a bit bumpy during pre-season but as we started to learn each and every thing and work on certain things, we felt more comfortable.”

Villa Park is not only trying to replace Farmer, but is also combining several transfers with Whittaker in attack. The Spartans begin to move Cindy Connor (El Modena) in the front.

Sparta’s defense has the participation of Kaitlyn Flanagan, Kianah Farmer – Aaliyah’s sister – Alex Sanchez and goalkeeper Mikayla Kendall.

“They are very good,” Esperanza coach John King said of Villa Park. “We were quite young and we allowed them to dictate what they wanted to do.”

Esperanza honored Saldivar and her teammates from the Slammers club team who attended the match. Saldivar’s father, Robert, the principal of Anaheim High School, and mother, Liliana, and siblings Julissa and Robert were also present. Villa Park women’s soccer deploys creative attack to beat Esperanza in emotional match – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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