5/22/22 Pleasanton RAGE v. San Ramon FC Loss 0-1

By Lizzy Rager

Pleasanton Rage lost to San Ramon FC 1-0 in the first match of the 2022 WPSL season. The tight game kicked off the season with a bang–ball control constantly shifted in the midfield between FC and RAGE. While the RAGE was defeated 1-0, it gave San Ramon a hard time.

“I love the intensity and the ferociousness that is just out in the field,” said Katie Parker, correspondent of the WPSL. “These players are just so talented.”

Halftime allowed RAGE to rethink their strategy of shifting the ball across the field among the line and keeping it on the ground. Rage also regained its energy. Kicking off the second half, the Rage rushed San Ramon with careful passing and speed. However, San Ramon’s defense countered by forcing turnoversturnvoers and transitioning quickly into offense, taking advantage of the RAGE being out of position and tired. In the 15th minute of the second half, San Ramon midfielder Hailey Hamataka finally broke the tie. Her shot in the upper corner of RAGE’s goal gave San Ramon a 1-0 lead.

San Ramon was able to maintain enough ball control to keep the RAGE from scoring. The defeat for the RAGE, however, revealed potential for the season with new young players such as forward Haley Hong, who played with RAGE’s upper-division league ECNL. While she did not play this match, Haley Lukas is another young talent fans can be excited about, a RAGE and Cal Berkeley alumni who competed in pro-soccer leagues in France and Hungary. 

“In the first and second half, we really showed key level development in our possession,” RAGE coach Sarah Fawcett said. “In the first half, we found it difficult to keep the ball, but in the second we possessed the ball a lot more and ended up breaking (San Ramon FC) down in moments to create some goal-scoring opportunities.”

The RAGE did not have its full roster as some players were not registered yet.

“We’ve got players coming back from college, they’re gonna build those relationships between our units, from backline to the midfield to the frontline so that we can hopefully possess the game a bit more and break teams down,” Fawcett said.

In the first 2 minutes, RAGE defender, Ashley Garcia, tests San Ramon goalkeeper Alexis Aguilar, in a close bout. In the next 5 minutes, San Ramon forward, Madison Wilson, pays back RAGE goalkeeper, Sadie Brown, with another close goal. 

Within the first 10 minutes there are 2 offsides calls for San Ramon.

The first corner kick of the match at minute 35 puts RAGE in a dangerous position. San Ramon’s attempts to deliver a few shots to the goal, but misses and is successfully intercepted by RAGE’s defensive line.

Throughout the game, San Ramon’s defense made the difference in RAGE’s ability to score goals. Shifting the ball across the field among the line and keeping it on the ground, they allowed San Ramon to spread out along the field and tire RAGE’s frontline.

In the 40th minute, RAGE gets its first corner kick and looks to maybe turn the match around, but are unsuccessful. The first half ends tied at 0-0, with neither team getting the opportunity of a clear shot.

The team hopes to show their full-force ferocity with a complete roster in the next match. On June 3, 7 pm at Bernall Community park, RAGE will play against Bay Area Surf WPSL.