William Chrisman girls soccer coach John Straub feels good about Ciera Perez taking free kicks.
On Thursday at Van Horn High School, the sophomore midfielder justified her coach’s opinion of her kicking ability.
In the 16th minute of Chrisman’s meeting with host Van Horn, Perez lofted in a free kick from about 30 yards out. Her goal got the scoring started in the Bears’ 4-0 non-conference victory over the Falcons.
“Ciera is just incredible about taking free kicks,” Straub said.
Perez said free kicks have “almost become like natural” to her.
“I mostly just aim for an upper corner and try to get it over the goalie’s head,” said Perez, who scored a hat trick in a 10-0 season-opening win over Ruskin on Tuesday. “That’s my placement usually.”
Perez’s goal was part of a first half in which the Bears outshot the Falcons 9-2 – including 3-1 on goal – despite playing into a stout wind.
“The girls kept it simple, playing the ball on the ground, playing to feet and we just kind of slowly worked it up (the field),” Straub said. “And they looked really good (on offense).”
Allyssa Kyle, who led the Bears with two goals, started Chrisman’s second-half scoring by lining in a shot in the 44th minute. The senior forward said her goal resulted from a different approach to finishing.
“When I was younger, I always used to go up for the ball – and it usually went over (the crossbar),” Kyle said. “So I’ve been practicing trying to drive the ball instead and placing it, instead of forcing it with power.”
Kyle’s final goal resulted from a penalty kick in the 79th minute after Van Horn coach Matt Tracy had been ejected.
“I just did what I usually do: I pick a spot which way (I’m kicking) and usually just drive the ball in.”
Makenzie Erikson’s 80th-minute header finished off the Falcons, who dropped to 1-2.
Van Horn assistant coach Megan Hinkle credited the Falcons with holding their own defensively “pretty well” during the first 40 minutes. But “some things kind of slipped” during the second half, she admitted.
“Tensions were kind of high,” Hinkley said. “Things just kind of fell apart (for us) in ... (those) last couple minutes.”
The Bears improved to 2-0. Straub was pleased with Chrisman’s performance “for (it being our) second game of the year.”
“They’ve made a lot of progress from last year and we look forward to continuing on next week,” he said of his players.