GLENDALE — Hoover High’s girls’ soccer team had its chances in the first half and Glendale had its opportunities in the second half of Friday’s Pacific League showdown between the rivals.
Hoover had a penalty kick that hit the left post, lofted a few shots just above the crossbar, and the Nitros had a number of runs through the Tornadoes defense that resulted in shots that were wide of the net, leaving both coaches and fans yelling in agony.
“It’s about finishing,” Glendale Coach Victor Aquino said. “It’s Glendale-Hoover. You get one-on-one with the goalie and you want to put the ball in, but you forget the basics. It’s the pressure and the anxiety from this game. They don’t want to lose. We don’t want to lose.”
Neither team lost because the other team was able to finish its chances.
Hoover’s Tyra Williams had her first-half shot tipped away by Nitros goalkeeper Crystal Rivera early in the first half, when the Tornadoes (2-10-1, 2-4-1 in league) kept the pressure on the Nitros with scrambles near the net that resulted in some anxious moments.
One of those moments occurred with 12 minutes remaining in the half.
The Nitros were called for a hand-ball inside the box, allowing Remi Miller of Hoover to step in for a penalty kick, but the freshman’s shot hit the left post.
“In the first half, the score could’ve been, 3-0,” Hoover Coach Anastasios Metallinos said. “We didn’t win because we didn’t play as well as we should’ve.”
One of his forwards, Jordan Miller, agreed.
“The little mistakes got to us,” she said. “We couldn’t get that end part of our play. We need to work harder.”
Glendale (3-7-2, 1-5-1) seemed to work harder in the second half, led by Aline Graham’s carving of the Tornadoes defense.
Graham, a senior captain, weaved through the defense throughout the second half, but each time, a pass either went too wide or a shot was stopped by Hoover goalkeeper Arianna Solis.
“We just weren’t able to finish,” Graham said. “We need to work on finishing.
“We stepped up more as the game progressed. We started connecting more.”
Aquino, who said he believed his team could’ve scored five goals Friday, was proud of his team’s bounce-back effort of the second half.
“They came at us in the first half because we stopped,” he said. “I’m proud of their effort in the second half. They fought for everything. It was a much better game in the second half.”
The teams will try to capitalize on their chances when they meet in the regular-season finale on Feb. 13 at Hoover.