INSIDE OUR SCHOOLS
PASADENA – ColoradoBoulevard.net:
With the regular season-ending and CIF tournaments underway, all eyes are on the Marshall Fundamental girls soccer team, undefeated, and in first place in the Mission Valley League.
By Kate Jennings
Many of the players have been teammates for two or more seasons. Their coach, Erika Prado, on the other hand, has just joined the Marshall staff this year. Even so, the relationship she has created between herself and the players is as if they have been playing together for years.
“I know how high school can be very skill-intense, especially on club teams, and I didn’t want to give that vibe,” said Coach Prado, when asked how she made such a strong connection with her players. “I told them my story, made myself personable, and I said there was a lot that they still had to prove. But I want them to let go and be loose while still being disciplined.”
There are a few tactics and recurring plays in the Marshall team’s games that an experienced coach, player, or fan might note as a bit unorthodox. The most notable of these involves goalkeeper Kaiya Jota, a sophomore on the team.
Jota has been on Marshall’s varsity team since her freshman year. She has very few saves on her record but she has let in even fewer goals, as defenders Julia Castro, Sara Hernandez, Sammy Larios, and Kristina Snowden manage to clear the ball nearly every time it makes it to their side.
The reset tactic involves one of Jota’s teammates passing the ball back to her when there is too much pressure as their opponents are nearing the goal. Jota controls the ball, keeping it at her feet, until she finds an opening to pass to a teammate, even if that teammate is less than twenty feet in front of her.
> Come see Marshall girls’ soccer play their first CIF game this Saturday, February 12th at 3:00 p.m. on their home turf at 990 S. Allen Avenue, Pasadena.
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