The Hilmar High varsity girls’ soccer team clinched a top three spot in league and a playoff berth after they handled Riverbank High on Tuesday in a 10-0 shutout.
“It’s been a work in progress this year, honestly, we’ve been getting better every game, but we haven’t been able to get over that bump that is Ripon,” said Hilmar head coach Doug Delay.
Following their penultimate game of the regular season, Hilmar is currently boasting a 7-2 Trans-Valley League record and 14-8 overall.
Ripon is the only unbeaten team in the TVL at 9-0. Heading into Tuesday, Livingston was sitting at 6-3 in third place.
“In the first match they dominated us,” said Delay of Ripon’s squad. “But we kept working and getting better and at Ripon we played well and led twice, but circumstances happened and we lost that game. But, overall it has been a good year and keeping our head down and working hard and the chemistry is starting to happen, which is bad, but good, since we are starting to play well.”
Hilmar has been outscored by Ripon, 8-2 in the two league meetings this year.
It also hasn’t helped that Hilmar has been playing without two of their returning star captains in Emily Vieira and Sarah Alvarez.
“Sarah got hurt in first league game and Emily in a couple preseason games and that is it,” said Delay.
Hilmar has managed to win six of the last seven games played, which also included a 1-0 victory over Livingston on Jan. 16.
“It is going to be a great game against Livingston even though we beat them last time, they are a tough opponent, really second half we played defense,” said Delay.
In Tuesday’s game, Hilmar was rolling from the onset.
It took 10 minutes for sophomore scoring sensation Genavieve Fontes to notch one of five goals scored for the day. She even finished with an assist.
By halftime, Fontes had secured four goals and the ‘Jackets led, 7-0.
Three more goals were added in the second half as Hilmar swept Riverbank, outscoring them 15-0 in two games.
“It is one of those things you don’t really expect, but the girls were really motivated since it was senior night for us and the non-seniors wanted to do well and make it special and I think they did that,” said Delay. “This performance puts Genavieve Fontes over 30 goals for the year. She has been a great addition as a sophomore.”
Hilmar will travel on the road to take on Livingston High at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.“Great set up going into playoffs playing Livingston,” Delay added. “But overall the team has been working really hard and we have an entirely new back-line and the girls have been playing great on the defensive side of the ball and we are going to keep working.”