Two points. That’s all that now separates Turlock High’s girls soccer team from first place Golden Valley High in the Central California Conference standings.
The second place Bulldogs (7-4-1 CCC) shocked the Cougars (8-4 CCC) on Monday with a 5-0 victory on the road as Morgan DeLay recorded five assists. It was her best game of the season and the team’s most dominant CCC performance.
“We’re focused on playing one game at a time and we knew what we had to do when we went down to Golden Valley,” Turlock’s head coach Cathi Schali-Lopez said. “The girls stepped up, played well as a team, communicated, and used the field wisely. We dominated the game with our skill and teamwork.”
Last time the two teams met Turlock squeaked out a one goal victory in the second half. This time around, the Bulldogs scored their first goal in the 20th minute before breaking the match open in the second half with a four goal effort.
DeLay—who assisted on all the day’s goals—linked up with Aubrey Glidden on a cross for the first goal of the night. After Glidden’s scoring shot from just beyond the penalty box, the Bulldogs and Cougars battled back and forth, up and down the field until halftime.
“She had her game of the season,” Schali-Lopez said of DeLay. “She was on the ball, moving wisely, and was able to feed the ball in to the girls and the girls were able to finish their shots.”
Turlock’s focus to win was revealed in the early moments of the second half. Izzy Sousa scored in the 42nd minute and was followed by another Glidden goal in the 46th minute to make it 3-0. Two minutes later, Fefilova got in on the scoring frenzy when she got behind the Cougar defense and put the ball past Golden Valley’s keeper Mariah Hermosillo. The final blow was delivered in the 65th minute when Savannah Riddle rocketed a shot into the back of the net from the top of the box.
“Our goal is to be on the top. We’ve had some upsets, but we’re ready to persevere,” Schali-Lopez said. “I feel that we’re peaking at the right time. We’re playing well as a team offensively and defensively.”
As they have for most of the season, the Bulldogs outshot their opponent, 25-11. The difference this time was Turlock’s ability to finish its plays and seize its opportunities. Turlock hopes to continue its execution as its girls head into the final three games of the CCC season.
“Finding the back of the net is what we’ve been working on all season long,” Schali-Lopez said. “The girls proved they have it in them. If they come out like they did against Golden Valley I believe there’s no stopping them.”
Turlock’s next match is today against Merced High at home. With the CCC championship on the line, the Bulldogs must win out and hope the Cougars wither lose or tie one of their remaining three matches.
“You never know with soccer, any given day any given time, but if we stay focused and play our game I truly believe we have the determination to be the number one team in the league,” Schali-Lopez said.