Despite missing four starters due to injury or illness, Turlock High managed to hold off a pesky Buhach Colony High squad for a 1-0 victory on Monday to remain unbeaten at 4-0-1 in the Central California Conference.
The match started out with some promise for the Bulldogs when they scored their earliest goal of the year. In the 9th minute, Luisa Hahn headed a ball on to Kayla Gilkison who left-footed a half volley into the upper left corner past a defenseless Thunder goalie, Bianca Garibay, for what turned out to be the game winner. Turlock continued to press hard in the early going and was nearly rewarded in the 17th minute. Carissa Lopez had a wide open look from 12 yards out at the left post only to shoot directly into the well positioned hands of Garibay.
Buhach’s best opportunity of the first half came in the 21st minute. Sadie Montegue fired a direct free kick from 22 yards out on the right side that Turlock keeper Ashlen Kuntz did well to parry over the bar. The second half was saw much slower play bogged down in the midfield with neither team able to generate much offense until the last 5 minutes. Turlock nearly put another goal on the scoreboard in the 75th minute when Natalie Larson picked up a loose ball off a scramble in front of the net and hit the corner of the crossbar with a left footed volley from 10 yards out.
But Buhach wasn’t dead yet and had one last chance to equalize in the 80th minute. Elise Phonesavanh got behind the Turlock defense on a breakaway but was denied when Kuntz came off her line to make a spectacular sliding save at the top of the box as time expired. Turlock has now recorded four shutouts in five CCC games and leads the league with only two goals allowed.
The Bulldogs’ next challenge will be cross-town rival Pitman High today at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex.