REDLANDS — Former Yucaipa High teammates Norma Mendez and Sarai Stamper met Monday, April 26, and Mendez got the better of it.
Mendez’s Citrus Valley High girls’ soccer team defeated visiting Yucaipa, coached by Stamper, 3-1. The victory improved Citrus Valley to 8-2 overall, 7-0 in the Citrus Belt League.
“We played club soccer together and I played two years with her at Yucaipa,” Mendez said. “It feels good to win, but (Yucaipa is my old school). As long as we don’t beat them too bad, I’m OK.”
Stamper, a former Cal Baptist University player, expressed admiration for Mendez.
“I have a lot of respect for her,” the Yucaipa coach said. “She’s very committed to her players and team so I’m always proud of her. It’s always been kind of a friendly rivalry.”
The ambidextrous Abbey Gile started things in style for Citrus Valley at the 2-minute mark by left footing a high-arching, 30-footer into the right side of the goal.
“I was just dribbling, and I saw the opportunity to take a shot, so I did and hit the back post corner,” Gile said. “I was surprised it made it that far from how far I was. It was a pretty long shot.”
Gile said she does most things right-handed but kicks a soccer ball best with her leftfoot.
Lizzy Northcott added another goal for Citrus Valley shortly before the end of the first half. Northcott also excelled on defense.
Citrus Valley put the game out of reach in the second half on a penalty kick by Lindsey Chau, who starred all night in the midfield.
Yucaipa didn’t have many chances against Citrus Valley’s big, fast defense. However, Rian Landavazo tallied from in front of the goal with a few minutes left to ruin Citrus Valley’s bid for a shutout.
Sidney Stewart, Kennedy Cole and Landavazo sparkled for the Thunderbirds.