Tornadoes topple Blair, 1-0

PASADENA — Given a second shot, Hoover High sophomore Tyra Williams and her Tornadoes didn't miss.

The midfielder knocked in a floating 30-yard free kick for the lone goal Tuesday afternoon as Hoover defeated host Blair, 1-0, in nonleague play.

"I didn't think I was going to make it at all," Williams said. "I just took the kick and hoped it would bounce in front of the goalie, but it went over and in."

Williams' game-winning shot in the 75th minute was taken as Vikings' goalie Amy Castillo was playing somewhat forward in the crease during the attempt.

As the ball neared Castillo, the keeper attempted to back pedal and then made a desperation leap as the ball glided over her hands for the goal to put Hoover (2-1) up, 1-0.

"She probably thought the ball was going to come a little short," Vikings Coach Yeyson Caballeros said. "That girl had a good foot and put the ball right above her head."

Williams had a little practice as her free kick from 25 yards in the 72nd minute was caught by a leaping Castillo.

"I'd like to say that we're equally [efficient] all the way around," Hoover Coach Donal Kennedy said. "But we've had some success with our set pieces and that was the case today."

Only minutes earlier, it appeared Blair (5-3) was on its way to victory.

The Vikings missed a golden chance in the 65th minute when a through ball from midfielder Christina Garcia found forward Caryn Morales open about 15 yards from goal.

Morales caught the ball and rocketed a shot that hit off the far post, which was rebounded by her teammate, Abigail Rodriguez, who then blasted the ball out of play.

In a similar fashion two minutes later, Garcia again led a deep attack and passed to Brenda Rivera, who then found a cutting Morales.

Morales caught the pass, but fired wide from seven yards.

"There were mistakes all around in this game," Caballeros said. "No one is to blame. This was a team loss."

Both sides combined for seven total shots in a scoreless first half, six of which were on goal.

Hoover had a few solid chances, maybe the best taking place in the 30th minute when a throw-in from 35 yards bounced between two players right to the Tornadoes' Alexandra Miranda.

The midfielder took the pass and lofted a shot over Castillo that sailed wide five feet over the top post.

About 13 minutes earlier, Hoover's Sofia Torres launched a 25-yard free kick that two-hopped to Castillo for one of her five saves.

The Tornadoes' first shot on goal happened in the seventh minute when Jordan Miller took a pass along the right side and dribbled by two defenders as she waited for her teammates to rush into the attacking half.

Miller then crossed to Talin Kojababian, who entered the 18 and forwarded a pass to Miranda, who nudged a shot toward Castillo.

Blair's best opportunity came in the 20th minute, when a free kick from Rivera from 30 yards out bounced into the goal mouth and was batted around a couple of times.

The ball finally died right in front of Sarah Oceguera, whose six-yard shot was blocked by Hoover goalie Yvonne Cruz (six saves), who dove to her right to make the save.

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