April 18, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Carter HS girls soccer gets revenge on way to CIF SoCal Regional title

3 min read

Photo RUSD: The Carter High School girls soccer team celebrates the CIF State SoCal Division V Regional title on March 4 after beating Ramona High School 1-0. The Lions previously lost to the Rams in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 championship game but got their revenge when the teams faced each other again just eight days later.

The Carter High School girls soccer team got the ultimate revenge and wrapped up the 2022-2023 season as champions.

The Lions scored a 1-0 victory over Ramona High School on March 4 to claim the CIF State SoCal Division V Regional title. Just eight days earlier, Carter High School lost the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 title game 2-0 against the same Ramona HS team. 

The title is the first in program history for the Carter High School girls soccer team. 

The Carter High School girls soccer team didn’t spend much time dwelling on their loss in the Southern Section title game. They didn’t have time to do so. After losing to Ramona HS on Friday, February 24, they were back at practice on Monday, February 27, and were playing in the CIF State SoCal Division V Regional tournament on Tuesday.

When the Lions returned to practice they were refreshed and ready to compete for a new title. They entered the CIF State SoCal Division V Regional tournament as the No. 2 seed, behind just Ramona HS as the No. 1 seed. 

“We all had the same mindset of wanting to get revenge,” senior midfielder Layla Bustamante said. “We wanted to work toward the goal of winning a state title. We didn’t use the loss to be like, ‘Oh, man we lost.’ We used it like ‘We are still in it.’ ”

“We didn’t use that loss to dwell and bring ourselves down,” senior forward Jada Edwards said. “We used it to play harder and practice harder. So that when we came out we were better. It was kind of an ordinary practice. Since the beginning of the season, our coach told us to have the image of playoffs in mind. We were just working hard as if it were an ordinary practice. We worked even harder, which is why we were able to win the state championship. I would say what was different was we wanted it even more. We knew we were the better team so we just had to come out and prove it.” 

After a 3-1 victory against Madison High School on Tuesday and a 2-0 win against La Quinta in the semifinals on Thursday, a rematch with Ramona HS was set. This time the game was played at Ramona HS and under better conditions without rain. 

The Lions said they used the cleaner conditions to their advantage. Carter HS freshman forward Mya Davis scored in the 19th minute of the game to put the Lions up 1-0. From there, senior goalkeeper Kyra Montano and the Lions’ defense kept the Rams off the scoreboard the rest of the way. 

“Going up 1-0 definitely hyped us up,” Bustamante said. “We were making sure after that goal that there were no more mistakes.”

“We had already had intense games this season. So when it came down to a close ending and tight game, we just played calm and played our game,” Edwards said. “There was some adrenaline pumping, but we used that to play our game.” 

Then as the clock ticked down, the Lions finally claimed their championship. They raised their new trophy, held medals, and celebrated on the field with friends and family.

After traveling back from Ramona High School in Riverside, the team celebrated their title at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor & Restaurant back home in Rialto. The celebration wasn’t truly complete until coach Kory Fincher entered the restaurant and the whole team cheered. Fincher has coached soccer for nine seasons at Carter High School but this is just his second season coaching the girls team. The players all agreed he played a big part in helping them earn the title.

“I think our coach celebrating with us was the highlight of the night,” Bustamante said. “The whole team got together after the game, and we all cheered for him. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.”

“Our coach is a big part of why we won,” Montano said. “He worked with us last year, and it was just a different feeling. He changed the technique and the strategy this year. He’s very smart when it comes to soccer. He’s a big part of why we won the title.” 

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