A hat trick from Irene Zamora and aggressive defensive pressure were major factors in Selma’s first home win of the season, as the Bears shutout Sunnyside high school 6-0 on Jan. 2.
Two days later, Selma defeated Caruthers 5-2 to improve its record to 7-4 before the Bears’ showdown against Kingsburg on Jan. 9.
Selma head coach Joel Cooley said the win against Sunnyside was about finishing drives and converting on shots on goal.
“We finally finished...we got six goals, in the past we only got one or two” Cooley said.“So that’s let us hopefully prep and get ready for (Central Sequoia) League.”
Other than Zamora, Selma players that scored goals against Sunnyside were Audrey Naranjo, Aly Botello and Julie Aceves.
“We had multiple people make goals,” Cooley said. “We were able to capitalize on some nice passes and teamwork that started to come around tonight.”
Before their Kingsburg matchup, Cooley said the girls are ready to take the next step and contend for a league title.
“There’s going to be a few teams out there that are going to be surprised about how well we could play,” he said.
Another development in the Sunnyside game was the Bears used two goalkeepers including regular starter Lucy Chavez and Alyssa Martinez. Both goalies were both instrumental in the shutout win.
Cooley said it’s been tough to give Martinez minutes, but her talent gives the Bears depth at the goalkeeper position. Martinez started playing high school last year as a junior, which has her overlooked, according to Cooley.
“She’s definitely not a downgrade,” Cooley said. “She’s got some capability, I hope someone picks her up at the next level and give her that opportunity and show that she could play.”
This week, Selma started its league schedule against Kingsburg, who swept the Bears last season. Both teams played at Kingsburg. The Vikings haven't lost since Dec. 1 and went into the matchup at 13-1-1 overall. It was the first CSL game for both Kingsburg and Selma.
“They’re very organized,” Cooley said about the Vikings. “They’re very quick, they make good passes...and their backline is really tough to get through.”
Next up for Selma is home league game against Immanuel on Thursday Jan. 11. Currently, Immanuel is 3-3-2 and was swept last year by the Bears. Selma won both games in a shutout.
Note: Story does not include Kingsburg/Selma result since story was submitted on Jan.8 before the schools played each other on Jan. 9.