HANFORD — Hanford West had its five-match winning streak snapped after an 11-3 Central Sequoia League loss to Kingsburg at home on Tuesday.
The Division-III Huskies (16-5, 2-2 CSL) kept it close to start, but slowly faded with each passing quarter against the Division-II Vikings. The Vikings won the Division III championship the last two years before being moved up this season.
“They communicate a lot and they know how to work with each other,” Hanford West’s Dariene Andrade said about the Vikings.
The Huskies were limited to their second-fewest goals in a game this season with their fewest — two goals — coming against Kingsburg in a 10-2 loss on Sept. 6.
Hanford West trailed 1-0, but Andrade pushed a goal through in front after Eva McIlwaine’s initial shot was deflected in front of her. The two teams ended the first quarter tied at one.
“Our girls know what to expect, it’s just usually after that first quarter is when they start to become lax because it’s so tight,” Hanford West coach Rachel Bradley said. “They’re still in it and they know that, but yet their guard starts to drop.”
The match changed in the second as Kingsburg seized momentum with a 4-0 run to take a 5-1 lead into halftime. Poor passes and bad turnovers led to quick counterattacks for the Vikings and they didn’t miss.
“We were just doing a lot of dumb things honestly,” Hanford West’s Katie Kevorkian said. “Yes, it’s our fault, but we didn’t do it intentionally. We just kind of did some bad passes and they all just added up.”
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The run continued after halftime with another goal to put the Vikings up 6-1. Andrade stopped the run after coming up with a steal and scoring on a 4-meter shot to make it 6-2.
“I just noticed the goalie was just off to the one side and I was like, ‘I’m going to take it,’ Andrade said. “If I miss it then I miss it, but I’m just going to go for it for my team.”
The Huskies continued to make mistakes with a kickout and more turnovers, which led to one-on-one opportunities for the Vikings. Hanford West goalkeeper Kaytlyn Boling did her best and made some incredible saves, but Kingsburg led 9-2 after three quarters.
Kevorkian added the final goal for the Huskies in the fourth quarter on a man-up opportunity. Andrade finished with two goals.
“The biggest issue for us was our passing,” Bradley said. “We have a difficulty once we get down, they get locked up and they can’t handle the pressure and the passes end up becoming short or to the wrong person.”
Despite the loss, Hanford West has been on a big uptick this season. With 16 wins under their belt, they have already far exceeded last year’s record when they were 10-14. Their two league wins are also more than their one last season.
“I just feel like we all get along with each other and we all know our best,” Andrade said. “We know what works and what doesn’t work, so we just put it together in the games.”
The Huskies have another league game at home today at 6 p.m. They’ll face Dinuba (0-7, 0-2 CSL) who they defeated in their first matchup 14-7 on Oct. 1.