Varsity girls soccer choke in the paws of the cougars, 1-3



#16 sophomore Amalia Nolan scored the only goal for Buena. Playing with her whole heart, the Bulldogs take on the Cougars again Jan. 27.

Nestled against the hills of downtown Ventura, the sun sets on Tuesday, Jan. 11 as Buena girls soccer took on Ventura in “cougar country.” The last of the season’s Christmas lights twinkle in the distance as the “dogs” chant echoes across the field, the sound waving like the ocean in close proximity. Despite the dedicated cheers of the crowd, Ventura knocked down the mighty Bulldogs, a defeat of 1-3.

“Stay focused and play your game,” #16 sophomore Amalia Nolan said, before and as a mantra during the game.

About 24 minutes into the rivalry game, #6 Senior Daisy Cisneros made a strong attempt at a goal and missed, however her dominance on the field remains strong. Only two minutes later, #13 Paytton Eliott battles a Cougar for the ball, and kicks it out of bounds which is received with loud approval from the crowd. 

With just six minutes left of the first half, Nolan attempted  a goal, defeated by the referee’s flag declaring offsides. The ball sat in the net as a sore reminder of the mistake, and what could have been. The scoreboard read 0-0 at halftime. 

“We came out hard, we wanted to play,” goalie Sibella Donnelly said. “But our nerves quickly got the best of us.”

Opening the second half, #6 from Ventura had a penalty kick, the Bulldogs lined in front of the goal making preparations to stop the ball in action. Stopped by a header, the crowd erupted in loud cheers as the game continued

Twenty-two minutes into the second half, Nolan scored the first and only goal for Buena. Her success was met with the cheers from the crowd screaming her name. Her teammates ran to her side, jumping with excitement as Buena took the lead. 

“It was a really good shot,” Nolan said. “I was like ‘I can’t believe I just did that.’”

The Bulldogs met the goal again after Nolan was fouled. Junior Desire Lopez #14 took the free kick and missed by a hair. The crowd sighed after the ball seamlessly floated over the crossbar.

Nine minutes shy of the end of the game, Ventura scored. The crowd across the field cheered extravagantly in the faces of the Bulldog fans. Just minutes later, the Cougars took another successful shot at the goal, Ventura up by 1.

We know what it feels like to lose, and now we want to know what it feels like to win.

— Amalia Nolan

Frustrated, Nolan ran the ball up the field by herself, dodging any yellow stripes who tried to swipe her. Just one minute left, her attempt at a goal was unsuccessful, but the crowd cheered—an affirmation of her try.

“Obviously not everything is going to go your way,” Nolan said. “From that, you just have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. We know we need to finish those opportunities.” 

Time stopped by the referees, the valiant Cougars continued to dominate the field, scoring for the final time that evening, leaving the Bulldogs in the dust with a score of 1-3. The Bulldogs have a current record of 5-10-3, and will play Ventura again on the Buena field Jan. 27, where they will showcase their prowess against their rivals once again.