RIVERSIDE — Riverside Poly’s girls soccer coach Josh Nash expects opponents to bunker on defense and that sometimes there’s nothing his team can do about it.
Addison Zyber was unable to finish off a handful of scoring opportunities as Riverside Poly and Hemet played to a scoreless draw Thursday night in what may prove to be a pivotal Ivy League matchup.
“That’s how everybody plays against us. They’re going to drop in, bunker and try to hit us on the counter,” Riverside Poly coach Josh Nash said. “If we’re not quality enough in front of goal then that’s how these games are.”
Zyber failed to connect on two solid chances in the first half but Riverside Poly (13-5-3 overall, 3-0-1) extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches.
“We were a little poor with some of our first touches and some of our decision making,” Nash said. “With that we two or three point-blank chances to score (and) you got to score.”
Freshman goalkeeper Iraima Ramos made two key saves for Hemet (8-2-2, 2-1-1), which has posted four shutouts over its last six matches.
“On the road at Poly you’re always happy to get a point,” Hemet coach Craig Dwinnell said. I think both teams are walking out of here thinking they could have won.”
Hemet produced the first shot on goal on an attack down the right flank but the effort was easily corralled by Poly goalkeeper Brooke Decker.
It took Poly 15 minutes to get into the attack but the Bears, led by some audacious runs from Zyber, started to run at Hemet’s back line and Ramos.
A corner kick in the 16th minute dropped dangerously in front of Ramos and Zyber had both a close-range attempt and a second shot blocked by Hemet defenders.
Zyber had another shot on goal in the final minutes before halftime but mishit a volley over the bar as Poly out-shot Hemet 7-2 in the first half.
Seven minutes into the second half Poly had a one-on-one against Ramos but the freshman commanded her area and cleared away the threat.
“She’s young but there were some good moments there,” Dwinnell said.
Hemet had one more opportunity at a goal in the 74th minute when Olivia Uribe sent in a cross towards the top of the goal area where Bridget Arnold’s shot on goal was blocked off the line by a defender.
Poly senior center defender Jenna Largent managed the minutes to the final whistle and a fourth consecutive shutout.