The two-day Central Section All-Star Soccer Games kicked off Friday with the East vs. West girls matchup at Lindsay High School.
A total of nine local girls from Porterville, Monache, Lindsay, Strathmore and Granite Hills High School played for the East side led by Exeter head coach, Darren Lasky.
The East lost 6-0 to the West but many of the girls, all of whom were playing for the first time, said it was a “great experience”.
“At first I was very nervous but being with the team I was playing with, I got comfortable with the players and made a lot of new friends,” MHS junior, Zoe Rios said. “And it was a great experience for me.”
Rios was also named the East’s Most Valuable Player. She said the selection felt “amazing”.
Playing in their first and last all-stars were Lindsay graduates, Teresita Magana and Evelyn Martinez.
“It was pretty good,” Magana said about the game. “Only practicing for four days, and playing like the next day after, we did pretty well though. Only thing we lacked was communication. But other than that it was really good. It was great to meet other players from the Valley and it was a great experience overall.”
Both Magana and Martinez have plans to play in college with Magana going to try out for California State University, Sacramento’s club team and Martinez going to Johnson County Community College in Kansas. Magana said it was an emotional last game together and she’ll miss having her other half with her on the pitch.
“It’s really sad because I considered us the outside dynamic duo because I’ve been playing with her since our sophomore year and she was on the left, I was always on the right,” Magana said. “So not having her on that side anymore when we continue with our careers is going to be really sad for me.”
The two midfielders helped lead the Cardinals back to the playoffs this season with a 15-8-3 overall record that gave them the fifth-seed in the CIF Central Section Division V playoffs. For her season, Martinez was also selected The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“Playing this last final game on my home field, it was very exciting but also nerve wracking because of the West team,” Martinez said. “But playing with Tere it was really fun and I really enjoyed playing also with the girls from the East side.”
On college, Martinez added, “I feel a bit nervous but I’m pretty confident. I think it’ll be fun and a good restart.”
Local players for the East were Lindsays' Magana and Martinez, Monache's Rios and Jiselle Batres, Granite Hills' Veronica Buckman and Brianna Rodriguez, Porterville's Ximena Tapia and Strathmore's Bella Baez and Valerie Mosqueda.