Trailing by eight goals in the second half with little chance to winning the match, the players from the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ soccer team didn’t want to give up.


Even when they were told they would have to.


The Guards had their Thursday afternoon contest against Bishop Conaty-Lorett halted in the 67th minute because of time constraints at their home field, John Muir Middle School. Bell-Jeff lost the contest and was dominated by the Wildcats in the nonleague match, 8-0.


However, as the officials blew the whistle to end the contest and the Guards walked off the pitch, they were complaining about having to stop. They wanted to keep playing.


“I wanted to give up but for them, they wanted to play until the end,” Bell-Jeff Coach Hector Garay said. “They have the desire and they didn’t want to have to stop. That is very good.”


The Guards (0-4) went into the match short-handed, as several key players were missing because of a school choir obligation.


Bell-Jeff was also taking on a Wildcats (5-0-1) team that was undefeated. Bishop Conaty-Loretto’s only blip on its record is a 3-3 tie that came Wednesday in a nonleague game against St. Genevieve.


“We were missing some good players,” Garay said. “But that’s what happens sometimes. We still have to go out and play.


“But we have a very young team, and some players [have] never played before. We might have a lot of problems this year, but next year we should be better.”


It took the Wildcats 18 minutes to finally score a goal, but after they did, the goals started coming in bunches. Along with the tally in the 18th they also scored goals in the 22nd, 23rd and 25th minutes to jump out to a 4-0 advantage.


Bell-Jeff’s best scoring chance came in the 30th minute when sophomore Keiry Gutierrez dribbled deep into Wildcats territory, but the ball was knocked out of bounds by defender Heidi Guerra. On the Bell-Jeff throw-in, a Guards player took a shot on net only to have it deflected by a defender. The rebound rolled toward the Wildcats goal before keeper Karen Lopez could finally pounce on it.


With a four-goal lead at the half, Bishop Conaty-Loretto wasted little adding to its lead early in the second half. Just two minutes in, Jennifer Melendez scored her second goal. Melendez completed a hat trick with a score just eight minutes later. The Wildcats scored two additional goals in the 52nd and 64th minutes.


Dealing with a wealth of defensive breakdowns — some of which were her own doing — Bell-Jeff goalkeeper Emely Arrue, a sophomore, was kept busy all afternoon. She ended with 13 saves.


“We won’t get down because of this loss,” Bell-Jeff senior Jackie Ponce said. “We always go out there and play with our hearts and we play as hard as we can.”

Trailing by eight goals in the
second half with little chance
to winning the match, the
players from the Bellarmine-
Jefferson High girls’ soccer
team didn’t want to give up.