Pitman High soccer remains atop the Central California Conference standings after a 2-0 defeat of Golden Valley High on Monday. The speedy Cougars (3-1 CCC) pressured the Pride (2-0-2 CCC) throughout the match but were unable to capitalize on a number of scoring opportunities or take advantage of penalty-driven player adjustments on Pitman’s part.
“We’re doing well,” Pitman’s head coach Christina Garcia said. “Last week was a little tough with the two ties, so we definitely came into this match focused and with our hearts set on playing good soccer.”
After a scoreless outing against Atwater High and a disappointing 2-2 tie against Buhach Colony High, the Lady Pride decided to kick off this week by turning a new page and jumping back into the winner’s column. Pitman’s first step towards victory came in the 29th minute when a Courtney Phelps shot bounced off the post and was nudged into the goal off the rebound by Katlyn Hanf.
Moments later the Cougars were presented with a chance to knot the score when a yellow card set up a penalty kick. Golden Valley had an open net on the right side but the ball ricocheted off the post and was promptly cleared by the Pride.
While Golden Valley continued to press Pitman with its fast forward game, the green and silver kept their sights on stout defending and offensive production. The two came together in the 73rd minute when Marissa Rouse stole the ball, dished it to Rayana Plancarte, and watched as the freshman shot from 18 yards out and found the net.
“There was constant pressure on us so that goal gave us some breathing room,” Garcia said of Plancarte’s goal.
“We did what we needed to do; they played great soccer,” she added.
Pitman is now in position to clear a path for a CCC title run as its ladies prepare for tonight’s cross-town matchup with defending league champion Turlock High. A win over the struggling Bulldogs (1-4 CCC)would be a statement victory to end the first round of CCC play, but the Pride know it will be a difficult task to complete.
“We take one game at a time. We can’t underestimate any team in the CCC regardless of their record,” Garcia said. “We’re trying to maintain that first place status and stay undefeated.”