Turlock High girls soccer continued its climb back into Central California Conference contention with a 3-0 victory over rival Pitman High on Wednesday. After dropping their first three league matches, the Bulldogs (2-3 CCC) now sit in third place behind the Pride (2-1-2 CCC) and first place Golden Valley High as the second round of CCC play is set to begin.
“We’re ecstatic about the win,” Turlock’s head coach Cathi Schali-Lopez said. “The girls played as a united team and put their heart and soul into the match.”
Turlock’s speed proved to be an overwhelming advantage as they continually pressured Pitman’s defense and tested Pride goalie Karly Reid. Though Pitman was first to attack the goal with close shots in the 8th and 10th minutes, Bulldog goalie Vanessa Orozco expertly protected the net to keep Pitman off the scoreboard.
“Our keeper kept us in the game and the motivation on our side. She did an outstanding job,” Schali-Lopez said.
Two minutes later, in the 12th minute, Turlock’s Fallon Beaber stole the ball and dished it to Maddy Bowen who shot the ball over Reid’s outstretched arms from 30 yards out for the first goal of the night. Reid was on the defense once again mere minutes later as she stopped two separate shots from Bulldogs Morgan Delay and Aubrey Glidden from point blank range in a matter of seconds. Reid again survived a close encounter in the 22nd minute as she faced Mariya Fefilova in a one-on-one situation, but her luck wouldn’t last for much longer.
Delay finally found the net in the 24th minute, sending the ball over Reid’s head for a 2-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Glidden took advantage of Pitman’s failure to clear and stole the ball at the top of the box before pushing it into the right corner of the goal.
“That’s a cardinal rule; you don’t play with it in the back line,” Pitman’s head coach Christina Garcia said. “The defenders had a miscommunication, they didn’t clear the ball, and Turlock scored the goal.”
“I think Pitman was shocked and we took them by surprise,” Schali-Lopez said of the back to back goals.
Pitman entered halftime trailing 3-0 but its girls weren’t finished competing. The Pride put forth a strong second half effort which saw them outshoot Turlock, but despite near goals from Katlyn Hanf and Janae Marable, they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
“Even being down 3-0 at half we were able to regain our composure,” Garcia said. “We created so many opportunities and had Turlock on their heels in the second half.”
“They came out strong, we played a little relaxed, but we were able to fend them off,” Schali-Lopez said.
Now, with the first round of CCC play over, both the Pride and Bulldogs are in position to fight for a first place spot in league standings.
Pitman will travel to Merced High on Monday to continue its CCC campaign.
“The goal is to keep improving,” Garcia said. “We aren’t playing up to our full potential, so you haven’t seen the best of us yet.”
Turlock also continues its journey through league on Monday when it travels to Atwater High.
“Our end goal is to stay focused and to keep working hard,” Schali-Lopez said. “It’s one game at a time.”