La Costa Canyon junior Pilar Torres (left) came off the bench to score two goals
As if being sick with the flu last week wasn’t bad enough, La Costa Canyon High’s Pilar Torres felt even worse when Wednesday’s game against rival Torrey Pines began.
Torres missed two games, but that was nothing compared to how she felt sitting on the bench as a non-starter against the Falcons.
Yes, Torres hasn’t spent much time in soccer as a reserve.
“No, I don’t like sitting on the bench at all,” Torres said. “I want to start and finish. Once I got in the game it was a relief.”
The junior center forward helped turn the momentum in favor of the visiting Mavericks when she scored the game’s first two goals in what became a 3-1 nonleague victory.
“The way she played — and this was perhaps her best game of the season — maybe we’ll have to take a look at bringing her off the bench,” coach Natalie Elkind, a 2004 graduate of LCC, said with a laugh. “Whether she starts or comes off the bench she’s an asset. She was able to crack the game open when she got in there.”
After the Mavericks (8-2) missed a pair of golden scoring chances, Torres finally broke through about midway through the first half, taking a pass from Eva Herrera and hitting the top corner of the goal from 25 yards out.
In the final minute, the sub scored again. Taking a long pass from Kelsey Aaknes from 45 yards out, Torres one-timed the ball into the net for a 2-0 halftime lead.
“I thought the second goal was a great team effort,” Torres said. “I think if I had missed the pass someone else would have gotten the goal.”
Torres was thrilled to finally get into the game. To score two goals was a bonus.
“I was sitting on the bench freaking out wanting to do something so badly,” she said. “I was trying to change the play.”
From the point she and Kendra Berning entered the game together, the Mavericks took charge of the momentum.
Torrey Pines (4-4-1) had just one corner kick, got nothing out of that and had one scoring chance in the game that was marked by the emergence of a fog bank early in the second half.
Off a throw-in by Gianna Giacalone, Abigail Palkowitz took a pass from a teammate and scored with 9:45 to play, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
“They defended us really well,” Falcons coach Martyn Hansford said. “I was a bit disappointed offensively in the first half. Their first two goals were great efforts. They outplayed us most of the game and there was no doubt about it.”
With 7:10 to go, Erika Arkans ended any faint thoughts the Falcons had of a comeback when she collected a rebound off Falcons goalie Taylor Getz and rifled it into the net.
“This game felt like a playoff game, not a regular nonleague game,” Torres said. “When they scored I figured it wouldn’t be easy, but the third goal put them down for good.
“We haven’t beaten them in so long. This is the first time I’ve ever beaten Torrey.
“Since we don’t play them again until next year, when we go back to playing on our club team with a lot of the Torrey players, we’ll have some bragging rights about this one.”
Thanks, in large part, to the starter turned reserve, at least for one game.