West All-Stars too much for East in 2-1 victory
By Patrick Dillon
lindsay – For the past four years Strathmore’s Ally Holloway and Taylor Alkire had been a force to be reckon with. They took the Spartans to four straight Valley Championship Game appearances, which include D-IV titles in 2015 and again in 2016.
After the crushing 3-2 (OT) loss to Kingsburg on Feb. 24, to lose the D-IV title it meant that this duo had just one more high school game together. That game was the East-West Girls Soccer All-Star Game on Saturday, June 24 at Lindsay High School as both competed for the East squad.
While the duo had accounted for 77 of the Spartans 107 goals this past year, they were held off the scoreboard as the West kept control of the trophy with a 2-1 win.
“It was very high intensity and very heart breaking,” said Alkire. “It is very emotional that it’s our last game together.”
Averaging over three shots a game during the 2016-2017 season Alkire posed a real threat for the West squad. Yet the West defense did not allow her to get a shot on goal until there was less than two minutes left in the first half. The fact that Alkire was playing a little bit back into the mid-field instead of her usual forward position did not help either.
That did not stop the East from creating scoring chances in the first half. In total the East had five corner kicks, of which were taken primarily by Holloway. Putting the ball where it needed to be the East attackers seemed to have trouble redirecting the ball to score. Holloway was in fact named the East squad’s most valuable player.
“It felt amazing playing with all these wonderful girls,” said Holloway. “I could not have won this without the girls, without their aggressiveness and cooperation.”
That difficulty allowed Redwood’s Brooke Crisp, the second leading scoring entering the game with 48 goals last season, time to score the game’s first goal. In the fourteenth minute the ball was bouncing around the East’s keepers penalty box. As the East tried frantically to clear it the ball came to Crisp, who settled the ball and redirected it toward the empty net at the near post to make it 1-0.
From then on things did not go well for Crisp. On an attack in the second half Crisp went down grasping her right knee. After walking off under her own power she soon reentered the game. But only moments later when she went up to contest a header that same knee retracted and she fell to the ground. Once again able to walk off under her own power she was done for the evening.
Later in the half during in the eleventh minute another Redwood player in Jill Nelsen scored for the West to make it 2-0.
It wasn’t until the twentieth minute of the second half that the East finally got on the board with a goal by Fowler’s Jessica Dondlinger.
Exeter’s Karissa Cortez was given the East team’s sportsmanship award.