Monday night’s crosstown rivalry match between Turlock and Pitman High girls soccer also marked the battle for first place in the Central California Conference at the halfway mark.
The ball was played in the middle of the pitch for majority of the game, some chances were created, but limited offense, along with some great saves from both goalkeepers led to a 0-0 draw.
“The game was played between the 18s; good goalkeeping, fantastic plays. Only a couple of chances were created,” said Turlock coach Joe Donahue.
“I expected it to be close for sure. These girls are the top two teams in league,” said Pitman head coach Annabel Perez. “It could’ve gone either way, they had a few looks and we had a few looks, but their goalie played a great game and I feel we did too; it was tough.”
It was only the second time both Turlock and Pitman were held scoreless this year, but it didn’t unfold without some opportunities that were scattered throughout the game.
Angie Zavala of Turlock finished the game with three saves while Pitman keeper Alexa Teixeira tallied four saves.
Turlock’s record is now 9-1-6 overall and 4-0-2 in the CCC. Pitman goes to 11-1-3 and also 4-0-2 in league.
Turlock has had to deal with the absence of their head coach Temo Arteaga, who is on maternity leave after his wife gave birth on Jan. 10.
All looks well for the ‘Dogs so far, who haven’t lost since Dec. 8 and have outscored league opponents 12-2, while the Pride have seen similar success.
“It’s been great, they are a really talented group, these are the two best teams in the CCC and we have seen them all,” said Donahue.
The Pride have not lost since Dec. 5, while they have outscored league opponents 10-3.
“These girls are looking at that CCC title,” said Perez. “They came short last year and almost made the playoffs, but they really want it bad. We have six seniors who want to end the year strong and then we have the sophomores and freshmen who want to do well in their first season at varsity, but they definitely have that goal.”
On Monday, neither team allowed open opportunity for the majority of the game.
A stalemate at 0-0, carried into the second half.
Then Pitman’s Izzy Shallou-Enes sprinted down the field for about 40 yards and into the penalty area at the 45th minute. She immediately followed with a shot to the near post, but Zavala made a crucial diving save.
Turlock’s defense, anchored by Hailie Virden, kept making Pitman uncomfortable inside or near the penalty area where the Pride usually thrives.
The Pride retaliated on their end with a consistent defensive effort from Alexia Caballero and Jenna Green, who continuously cleared any attempt near the attacking third.
In the final 10 minutes, Turlock went on an attacking fury, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
With one-minute left, Shallou-Enes worked her way inside the penalty area, but Zavala managed to come up with another big save.
Turlock will next take on El Capitan, in their fourth game in eight days, on the road at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Pitman will host Atwater at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.