West shuts down East

East's Jolyssa Venegas (yellow, Kingsburg) battles for possession with West's Skyler Martinez (Hanford) during the second half of the East versus West matchup in the 11th Annual Central Section All-Star Game at Frank Skadan Stadium in Lindsay on Friday. 

LINDSAY - In the first matchup of the 11th Annual Central Section All-Star event, the West dominated the East in a 6-0 shutout victory at Frank Skadan Stadium at Lindsay High School on Friday.

The West controlled the game by forcing consistent pressure in the attacking third. The West led 4-0 at halftime and outshot the East 18-8.

Notable players on the East squad were Kingsburg’s Marissa Montelongo, Colbi Stewart, and Jolyssa Venegas. Montelongo was made her third-straight all-star appearance while Stewart and Venegas played in the game for the first time.

“I’m glad my hard work paid off to where I was able to play another year,” Montelongo said.

Montelongo played in the game for the third consecutive season after winning the 2018-19 Central Sequoia League Player of the Year Award.

“I love doing these games because you make new friends,” Montelongo said. “The girls that you play with here are people you hated during the season, so just seeing the nicer side of them is fun and these girls are really nice and cool.”

Stewart and Venegas replaced their teammates Denise Elias and Emma Price on the East roster. Elias and Price were unavailable to play in the game.

It was Stewart’s final high school soccer game before she moves up to the Pacific Northwest to attend Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Venegas is slated to return to the Vikings for her junior season.

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Heading into the game, Venegas said it was a “great opportunity” to play in the event for the first time.

“It’s a new experience,” Venegas said.

For Stewart, she appreciated the opportunity and enjoyed playing with familiar faces during her club playing days.

“I’m seeing some old players. I played against them in club and I played with them in club,” Stewart said. “It was pretty exciting to see them.”

Hanford High’s Sheyenne Hodge put the West on the board in the ninth minute, followed by a goal from Lemoore’s Kalijah Sanders in the 18th minute. The West went into halftime up 4-0 after a goal from Coalinga’s Destiny Gonzales in the 23rd minute and Riverdale’s Martha Lopez scoring in the 39th minute.

With a four-goal lead, the West continued to control the game by keeping possession for most of the second half. Mt. Whitney’s Nazi Nunes added to the West’s lead with a goal in the 63rd minute and Lopez secured the West’s MVP award by scoring for second time of the night in the 73rd minute.

Monache’s Zoe Rios was named the MVP of the East. It was the fourth-straight year that the West finished on top.

Later that night, the North won 2-1 in the girls North versus South game. The two-day event wrapped up with two boys games on Saturday. The East versus West match ended in a 5-2 final in favor of the East. Kingsburg’s William Soria and Conner Thompson represented the Vikings on the East roster. In the final matchup of the weekend, the North defeated the South 5-2.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

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