BVL
BY TREVOR HORN/thorn@bakersfield.com

East High girls soccer coach Marty Martinez wasn't thrilled with having to play league rival Tehachapi in the first round of the Central Section Division III playoffs.

However, his players were fine with getting matched up against a team they had beaten twice during the regular season.

As it turned out, Martinez had no reason to fret and the Blades were right to feel confident.

No. 5 East scored two first half goals and held on for a 2-0 victory over No. 12 Tehachapi on Wednesday night.

"A win's a win," Martinez said. "We didn't play really great but I think we relaxed when we got the two-goal lead...We played hard. It's an overachieving team so I'm really proud of the kids. They deserve to get to the playoffs and have a win."

The Blades (19-4-4) will play at No. 4 Reedley in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Luna Garcia and Leslie Lunar scored goals two minutes apart to help East improve to 13-1 against Tehachapi since 2013.

The Blades beat the Warriors 6-3 and 1-0 during South Yosemite League play this season.

"We felt comfortable playing a team that we had played twice, instead of playing someone we had never played before," Garcia said. "We knew we had a chance to beat them again."

It took just 10 minutes for East to get the upper hand on Tehachapi (7-13-1) this time out.

Garcia, who signed last week with Metropolitan State in Denver, put the Blades ahead 1-0 with a spectacular goal in the game's 11th minute.

The senior captain got the ball just outside the top of the box and quickly drove the ball forward. She then made a nifty side-step move to the right to get around a defender and fired off a laser shot that landed in the back of the net for her 21st goal of the season.

"Our coach said we had to shoot if we want to score," Garcia said. "I was outside the box and I just saw the opportunity and just shot it."

Moments later Lunar hammered home a short rebound to extend the Blades lead to 2-0.

That was all the offense East would need, as both of Tehachapi's shots on goal during the game were turned away by Blades goal keeper Clarice Garcia.

Garcia's biggest test came 10 minutes into the second half when she leapt up high and with her outstretched fingers deflected over the crossbar a hard shot by Tehachapi's high scoring forward Rachel Miller.

That save helped East post its 13th shutout of the season.

"We had a couple of mistakes in the first half but in the second half we played strong," Tehachapi coach Tyson Kingsbury said. "We just couldn't on the field. The girls played hard."

The Blades offensive attack kept Warriors goalkeeper Bethany Stainfield busy throughout the game.

East took 13 shots, nine of which were on goal.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.