Her cheeks flush and sun-baked, Rachel Callister sat legs crossed, water bottle in hand, collecting her breath at the half.
The first 40 minutes of Monday's Central California Conference soccer match were like a marathon for the Golden Valley midfielder.
She never stopped running, and her effort was rewarded in the 25th minute.
Callister vollied in a close-range shot for her first goal in conference play, sparking Golden Valley to its first win in conference play.
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Five different players rippled the back of the net for Golden Valley in a 5-1 victory over Buhach Colony.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for a dangerous Golden Valley bunch (1-3 CCC, 9-5-2) weakened and slowed by injuries.
On Monday, their confidence was restored, sending Buhach Colony to its fourth loss in five conference games.
"We've had a rough start, but we feel like we're getting better and improving," Callister said. "We're pretty excited to get this win. You could probably hear us."
Tracking Callister on the field wasn't nearly as easy. The hard-working center midfielder kept moving, darting and diving between Buhach Colony defenders, extending plays with her hustle and distribution.
As a result, Buhach Colony (0-4-1, 4-6-1) played most of the first half on its heels.
GV had five cornerkicks and just as many shots on goal in the first 5 minutes of the game.
Finally, in the 25th minute, Callister broke the scoreless tie.
Stepping in front Buhach Colony goalie Mykaela Macias, Callister redirected an Alexandra Eber cross inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.
"That was just her determination," GV coach Lee Shaw said. "She never stopped working.
"If every player put out her kind of work, we'd have no problems."
Callister was equal parts excited and amazed by her goal-scoring moment.
The ball hit off her ankle -- not her foot -- and just trickled inside the near post.
"It barely went in," she said with a sly grin.
"I was worried."
Vanesa Vega, Samantha Guzman, Sara Callister and Belinda Zagal also had goals for Golden Valley, which rolls into Wednesday's showdown at Merced with renewed confidence.
"We haven't had too many breaks," Shaw said. "We've got a pretty good team, but we've had our share of difficulties.
"We needed to get a win -- against anybody. Hopefully, this picks our confidence back up."
Alejandra Zarate tallied Buhach Colony's only goal with an 18-yard shot in the 68th minute.
At Golden Valley
BUHACH COLONY -- Goal: Alejandre Zarate; Saves: Mykaela Macias 7.
GOLDEN VALLEY -- Goals: Rachel Callister, Vanesa Vega, Samantha Guzman, Sara Callister, Belinda Zagal; Assists: Alexandra Eber, Sara Callister, Melanie Law; Saves: Jessica Chambers1, Eliana Bruns 1.
Records: Buhach Colony 0-4-1 CCC, 4-6-1; Golden Valley 1-3 CCC, 9-5-2.