TEMECULA Jordan Magnin sat on the bench for about 10 minutes in the second half Friday, resting her legs and waiting to return and strike.
Temecula Valley’s senior striker gets frequent and painful cramps in her legs, and that had forced her to miss 20 minutes of the Golden Bears’ win Wednesday over Vista Murrieta.
Magnin takes all the usual precautions. She warms up, stretches, and gets work with the team trainer. But the pain has, at time, been so unbearable that she’s sought a doctor’s opinion.
She said she’s also looked at her diet and blood work and each time, she said no one has given her answers.
So Temecula Valley coach Amber Young makes sure to rest her when possible and keep her standout fresh.
That approach worked perfectly Friday when Magnin took the ball, broke two defenders and netted the game-winner with 3 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the Golden Bears’ 1-0 Southwestern League win at Chaparral.
“(Magnin) is a very dangerous scorer,” Young said. “Not having her out there as time was ticking down was a little scary. When I put her back in, I told her I wanted a goal soon.”
Magnin obliged and the Bears (12-2-3 overall, 2-0 Southwestern League) finally broke through in a half in which they dominated possession and created several prime scoring opportunities against the Pumas (8-2-6, 0-1-1).
“That’s soccer,” Young said. “You create as many good chances as you can, and eventually, you hope one gets in.”
There might had been more than one had it not been for the stellar play of Chaparral sophomore goalkeeper Makayla Pregrave.
Tall and athletic, Pregrave cleaned up a number of quality shots. She finished with seven saves.
Twenty minutes into the second half, the Bears’ Lulu Kutscher threw a pass in to Magnin, who slipped behind a Chaparral defender and made her way toward goal. From about 20 yards, Magnin launched a well-placed bending shot that Pregrave dove to deflect.
“(Pregrave) is a really good goalkeeper. It’s hard to get anything by her,” Magnin said. “So instead of hitting it hard, you have to focus on placement when taking your shot.”
Magnin just missed on another chance to score later in the half, when she attempted a header off a corner kick that got by Pregrave but was knocked away by a Chaparral sweeper’s knee.
“I really thought I had that one,” Magnin said. “I didn’t even see the defender.”
With the Bears offense controlling play in the second half, there was always the possibility of a quick return to the other end and an unprepared Temecula defense.
But when Chaparral did get the ball going the other way, the Bears defense was focused and keeper Alexis Kupka took care of the four shot attempts that came her way.
“There’s always a danger that the ball could suddenly shoot the other way when you’re being so aggressive on offense, but I’m proud that our defense stepped up , “ Young said.