Whenever Taft and Bakersfield Christian meet in soccer, you're almost guaranteed an epic match. "I've never had a game like that in 13 years, " said 13 year coach Derik Watson.
Taft got on the board Tuesday night behind two goals from Bethany Fitzsimmons and with the Eagles trailing 2-1 at the break, Coach Watson knew he needed to make a change. He decided to move Samantha Peters, a sophomore who had never before scored a goal, to the point of the Eagles attack.
"He's like 'I know you're aggressive, we need you right now, go and make something happen," Peters recalled. Like she had been doing it her whole life, when Samantha's chance to score came she coolly vollied home the finish to tie the game.
"I never really thought, because i play defense, I never thought I'm going to go score a goal because i never go that far up," she said. With the score tied and set to go to extra time Samantha decided one goal wasn't enough. With the last kick of the ball her goal kept the Eagles undefeated in league and that new feeling of scoring a goal still surreal to describe.
"All that hard work you're trying to accomplish, once you see it go in the net you're like wow I did it," she said.
The Eagles free flowing play in the game and their ability to play wherever might be learned from their unique practice the day after their big win.
"Soccer tennis is basically a game where we just focus on our touches," said assistant coach Jordan Points. "Game of skill, game of, well, just a lot of fun really."
Whatever's the secret to their success, Samantha and the Eagles are hoping their wins in league play can carry over to the postseason.