By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
VISALIA – The storms that moved into the foothills area on Friday evening created havoc for the scheduled soccer playoffs. Luckily for the Golden West Trailblazers, they got their D-III quarterfinal game at College of the Sequoias in just before the main storm hit, defeating the Santa Maria Saints 2-0.
“The girls have been playing well,” Golden West head coach Kevin Tilley said.
Golden West’s (17-3-4, 7-2-1) Izabel Pelayo scored first early in the second half after neither team found the net in the first. That is Pelayo’s 33 goal on the season.
“She is one of the best players I’ve seen in some time,” Tilley said.
Five minutes later Kaitlyn Tilley, scored the insurance goal which put Golden West ahead 2-0.
Golden West this season has been a team which gets ahead early on their opponents, but against the Saints they had a little trouble getting started. A major factor could have been that Tilley had to move some players around because of two significant injuries in their 4-1 opening round win over No. 14 Selma Bears on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Golden West’s leading scorer entering the post season Serina Oceguera went down with a knee injury. In the days since the game however she has been up walking and recovery seems to be going well.
The other was Destiny Ortiz. The junior has been a solid presence in the mid-field for the Blazers this season according to Tilley. She went down with a rolled ankle but is expected to return as well.
One thing that could have helped the Blazers get these two players back in the best shape possible was the rain. If the games had been postponed that meant an extra day of rest. They were not so fortunate and Golden West played last night against West Yosemite League member No. 2 Hanford Bullpups (19-4-2, 7-2-1). Final happened after press time.
“If we stay healthy we have a good shot at winning this thing,” Tilley said.