History was made on Friday afternoon at the Clovis Community College soccer field. For the first time in the three years of the women's soccer program, the Crush defeated crosstown rival Fresno City by a score of 2-1. It was a battle between two nationally ranked teams, with the Crush coming in at #16 and Fresno sitting at #2. The defending CCCAA State Champion Rams had not lost a CVC conference game since 2015.
The first half saw both teams trying establish a rhythm to create scoring chances, but some persistence by the Crush helped them get on the board first in the 40th minute. After a cross by sophomore Savannah Dungan was cleared out to the top of the box, sophomore Esmeralda Navarro settled and volleyed her shot into the top corner. It was her second goal on the season. Crush freshman goalkeeper Brianna Alarrazabal helped preserve the lead going into halftime, making a fingertip save as Ram freshman Brianna Figueroa's shot was going into the lower right corner in the 42nd minute.
Neither team were able to create many chances early in the second half, but it was Fresno who got the next goal, as sophomore Consuelo Luna scored a shot from outside the box off a Crush clearance in the 65th minute. It looked like the game may have been headed for a stalemate as both defenses held strong, but with 10 minutes remaining the Crush took the lead for good. After a defensive stop near midfield by Navarro popped out to sophomore Ariana Quintero, she slipped a pass through to a running sophomore Mia Castillo. Castillo drove to goal, cut back as a Ram defender slid by, and slotted the ball low into the bottom right corner to take a 2-1 lead. It was Castillo's tenth goal of the season and Quintero's team leading 13th assist on the year.
The Crush defense would withstand pressure in the final stretch as Fresno pushed for the tying goal, but would stay disciplined as they closed out the game for the 2-1 victory. Their overall record now stands at 13-2-3 and 7-1-1 in conference. With the result, the Crush sit in first place in conference over Fresno by half a game, though Fresno has a game in hand. Next up is a road trip to Taft on Tuesday, October 30 with a 1:00pm kickoff. Go Crush!