Ramona High School girls soccer coach George Garcia reacted to the team’s struggling offensive performance by shifting the positions of players, and the new alignment paid off with six goals and two wins in the shuffled offense’s first two games.
The Bulldogs came from behind Feb. 3 for a 3-2 win at Oceanside and prevailed by a 3-1 margin Feb. 5 at Orange Glen.
“We actually did pretty good,” Garcia said.
A 3-1 loss Jan. 27 to San Marcos and a 3-0 defeat Jan. 29 by Mount Carmel led to Garcia’s shifts after the Mount Carmel result gave the Bulldogs their fourth shutout loss in five games. Forward Lauren Ray was moved to center-midfield and forward Jessica Russo was switched to right-midfield.
Midfielders Silvia Villegas and Naomi Scodellaro became forwards.
“I think that helped a lot,” Garcia said. “Both of them (Villegas and Scodellaro) have pretty good shots.”
The new forwards scored all three Ramona goals against Oceanside. The Pirates took a 1-0 lead early in the first half, but Scodellaro put the equalizer into the net midway in the half.
A Pirate goal late in the first half gave Oceanside a 2-1 halftime lead, but Villegas was taken down in the penalty box midway in the second half and converted the penalty kick. With about ten minutes remaining in the game, Villegas took a corner kick which bounced off an Oceanside defender and went into the net.
“The girls played really good,” Garcia said. “They came together and started making some real good passes.”
Ramona goalkeeper Maria Solis made several second-half saves against the Pirates to secure the Bulldog win.
Ramona’s only previous league win had been a 6-0 victory Jan. 13 at home against Orange Glen. Although the Bulldogs didn’t match that offensive total in the Feb. 5 game against the Patriots, the field conditions weren’t conducive to a high-scoring match.
“It was raining like crazy. We’ll call it a mud bowl,” Garcia said.
Goals by Scodellaro and Villegas gave Ramona a 2-0 halftime lead, and although an Orange Glen goal narrowed the margin Ramona’s Samantha Smith would score the ensuing tally.
“The girls just kept with it,” Garcia said. “The girls really picked it up. It’s amazing the way they’re playing compared to the first half.”
The wins give Ramona a Valley League record of 3-6 and an overall season record of 4-12-1. The Bulldogs travel to Valley Center today for their next game.