PASADENA — Twenty-two fouls, three yellow cards, flying profanities from the stands and countless elbows and shoves were the norm in an expectedly rugged girls' soccer match between the city of Pasadena's top two public schools.
Lost in the physicality, though, were a pair of impressive hustle goals that secured a 1-1 tie between Pasadena High and Marshall Fundamental in nonleague play Thursday afternoon.
“This year we wanted to come out versus the school with the city’s name on it, the school that’s in Division II, the school with the great field versus the school with nothing and we wanted to win.”
While Marshall (8-2-1), which entered top-ranked in Division VII, outshot the Bulldogs, 9-6, Pasadena (2-2-1) was in line for the victory until the 48th minute.
Trailing 1-0, the Eagles pressed from their middle as sophomore Cassandra Bermudez received a 20-yard cross from junior Jordan Snowden.
Bermudez raced down the middle of the field and sent a spinning pass toward the sidelines just as two defenders approached her.
The pass was hauled in by junior defender Quetzali Del Villar, who ran just inside her bench’s touchline.
Del Villar then dribbled by her defender, approached the goal box from the top left side and floated a shot over rushing goalie Jasmin Rodrigues far post for the equalizer.
“It felt good to get one,” said Del Villar, who netted her team-leading seventh goal this season. “It was a great pass, exactly where I like it.”
Prior to the score, Del Villar was denied by Rodrigues (four saves) on perhaps the top save of the match, when Del Villar received a through ball and had a one-on-one opportunity, but was blocked from 15 yards at the 37-minute mark.
Two minutes later, Del Villar also launched a 25-yard free kick that was high by about two feet.
After Del Villar’s score, the Eagles only mustered one more shot, a potential game-winning kick from Bermudez, set up off a pass from Sofia Robles, that was wide left by a foot.
While Marshall controlled the final 50 minutes of the match, the Bulldogs held firm possession of the first 30 minutes, especially early when Pasadena attempted four of its six shots and scored on a head’s up goal when Hannah Habel banged in a deflected free kick from Samantha Koemans.
Koemans’ 35-yard blast was tipped by a kick from Mojica Joni Anne, who sent a shot to Eagles goalie Ariel Martinez (three saves), who punched away the shot.
Unfortunately for Martinez, the batted ball was knocked in by Habel from close range.
“You’ve got to be in the right position and you need a lot of luck,” Habel said. “It was great to get it.”
Outside the scores, both teams hammered away at each other with maybe the best blow coming on a slide tackle against Koemans in which the midfielder crashed to the floor in pain and missed five minutes of action before returning to the field.
“I wasn’t surprised with the physicality. We beat them last year in the Duarte Tournament, 1-0, and we knew who we were up against,” Bulldogs Coach Kamiko Johnson said. “As for the crowd, it was a little more than I wanted. We don’t need parents yelling at the officials. It probably didn’t help.”