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FC hosts Rosamond for a rematch from the 2017 playoffs

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The Eagles optimistically look ahead to the championship game, their first since 2015.

For the first time since 2015, FCS girls soccer earned a championship home game in CIF Central Section Division VI, Feb. 23. Tonight’s showdown against Rosamond High School is grand finale in the Eagle’s 16-4 season, and, for seven seniors, the final game.

The Eagles have won nine of their 10 home matches this year; their only home defeat coming in coming in second overtime against Minarets. Last year, Rosamond defeated FCS, when girls soccer travelled four hours only to lose 1-0 to the Southern Kern Unified School. This year, the Roadrunners, from the High Desert League, are the ones traveling to Fresno for a rematch.

The Eagles have been seeded No. 1 in the Central Section Division VI and will face No. 2 ranked Rosamond on the Eagle field at 6 p.m.

Senior Maicy Luginbill who also is a four-year cheerleader captain and first-year Eagle soccer player, says this year’s team has what it takes to claim the championship.

“I think that we are really ready, we have a better team and we are able to play more as a team together,” Luginbill said. “We are going to be so excited and so hyped and able to just go on the field and leave everything we have on the field. I hope that we are able to communicate and play as a team and come out with a win.

The Feather Online has posted tweets promoting the game since the Eagles’ 4-3 win over Riverdale, Feb. 21. 

Senior center midfielder Jenna Bynum has been playing soccer with her dad, David Bynum, since she was eight and club soccer since she was 10 years old. She says the soccer girls she has met over the years have influenced her to play at a high level.

“I am excited because its my second time going into a Valley championship game and my senior year,” Jenna Bynum said. “I am excited to play Rosamond again because we have improved as a team and I believe we can challenge them for the championship. I am excited to play them at home and believe the home field will pump us up to the game. Hope we have a packed house for the game tonight.”

Girls soccer scored 85 goals so far this season, but coach Matt Markarian views their shutdown defense as equally important. With senior Cayla Rivas in goal, and seniors Luginbill, Lauryn Tucker and Carlee Whipple starting in D, Markarian says defense may tip the game in the Eagle’s favor.

“I think the difference will be our experience on defense,” Markarian said. “With three senior starters, Whipple, Luginbill, and Tucker combined with sophomore Avery Jones and our senior goalkeeper Rivas, they make it tough for any team to score.

“Our opponent, Rosamond ended our season in the playoffs last season with a hard fought 1-0 result,” coach Markarian continued. “We have both been ranked No. 1 and No. 2 all season in the MaxPreps standings; we have looked forward to this matchup for quite some time. They are very similar to us in style of play. They like to get it wide and use their talented forwards and midfield to create chances on goal.

In a reverse of last year, the Rosamond Roadrunners will travel to FC for the game.

Sophomore Annabelle Messer plays on a local recreation soccer team and is now in her second year as an Eagle center midfielder.

“I am very excited for this championship game against Rosamond.” Messer said. “I am excited first because we lost to them last year and I want to show that we can beat them. Second, this might be the only year we get this opportunity to win the championship. Lastly, I want rings super bad and the patch the Valley championship patch on my letterman.”

Blake Deffenbacher | The Feather Online

Cayla Rivas jumps to stop a shot during a home soccer game.

The Eagles earned their only CIF Central Section Division V Valley championship in girls soccer in 2001 when they traveled to Paso Robles and defeated Templeton High, 2-1. However, the team also played for the Valley championship in 2000, 2003, 2006 and, most recently, in 2015 when they hosted Fraser Mountain and lost the Division VI championship.

Former girls soccer coach Robert Foshee says he is excited about tonight’s championship game, not as a coach, but as a spectator.

“Getting to a Valley championship is an exciting event,” Foshee said. “It takes a season of hard work, being able to stay away from major injuries and a little bit of luck.  When it all comes together in a Valley championship it’s pretty fun. The D-V championship we won in girls soccer in 2001 will always be a special memory for the players, coaches and fans.”

As with all CIF playoff games, student tickets cost $5 while adults and seniors are $7. CIF season passes are not accepted for playoffs.

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