The Pitman High varsity girls soccer team shutout their crosstown rivals Tuesday afternoon, defeating Turlock High 2-0 after two weeks off due to COVID cancellations.
The Pride took on a tough opponent in the Bulldogs, who had won four straight games coming into Tuesday’s matchup. The last time Turlock had lost a game was Jan. 6, when the team fell to Pitman in a 3-2 showdown. Last week, they defeated Enochs and Gregori in two close matches to remain atop the Central California Athletic League.
“We are definitely a little more banged up and tired since (Pitman) had three games off and that showed tonight,” Turlock head coach Nicole Lonergan said. “At the end of the day, we had our chances and we had our opportunities. I don't necessarily think that the score of the game reflects the quality of the team that we are…This loss to them doesn't in any way indicate that we still can't finish at the top.”
Pitman jumped out ahead early with a goal by senior Isabella Green in the match’s first minute. Before Turlock had a chance to answer back, the Pride furthered the damage with another goal by sophomore Lillyana Rodriguez in the ninth minute.
“The girls were able to recover, bring it all back together and did well today,” Pitman head coach Annabel Rangel said. “These girls know that they have to start off strong, because if we don't start off that way it just flows into that slower momentum…We were able to start off really fast, press a lot and put the ball into the net.”
Pitman’s quick lead was followed by stellar defense against the league’s top-scoring offense, with Pride goalie Mya Sanchez, an Oregon State University commit, collecting 10 saves on the afternoon. Turlock goalie Isabelle Magana had four saves of her own Tuesday, while junior Jenna Dean led the team in shots.
“There's nothing like a rivalry game. I think it definitely heightens the intensity of the game, and it heightens the desire that the girls have to win it,” Lonergan said. “I think it's awesome that we do have two really competitive teams in the same town. It definitely pushes the girls to be at their best all the time, because they know that there's someone just across town that is also gunning for it, too.”
With the win, Pitman improves to 4-1 in CCAL play and 13-2-1 overall. Turlock falls to 5-2 in the CCAL and 13-3 overall. Pitman and Turlock both currently sit atop the CCAL, with Enochs following closely behind.
Next, Turlock will take on Downey at home at 5 p.m. Thursday. Pitman will travel to Modesto to take on Enochs at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.