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Strong Bulldog defense leads to clean sheet over Downey
Turlock girls soccer 1
Megan Drew of Turlock scored Mondays only goal against Downey after lobbing a strike over the goalkeeper at the 6th minute. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Turlock High girls soccer is off to a hot start this season in their inaugural year competing in the winter season after playing their sixth preseason match against Downey High of Modesto on Monday night at Joe Debely.

Despite scoring just one goal for the game, the Bulldogs of Turlock were able to control the pitch from start to finish after a team effort that included precise passing and dominating defensive output.

Megan Drew of Turlock scored the only goal of the game in the sixth minute and the ‘Dogs rejected any Downey opportunity in the second half to take the 1-0 victory.

“We played a lot better than we did in the tournament I can tell you that right now,” said Turlock coach Temo Arteaga of the team's win on Monday.

Turlock went 3-0-1 in the Pitman Pride Cup tournament and with the exception of their draw with Gregori, played tough and managed to finish atop the standings in their five-team bracket.

“I think the back was a bit better and midfield they did a better job than in the tournament,” said Arteaga. “Our forwards need to work a little more and they were hungry and aggressive like in the tourney, but overall we moved the ball well and were organized and the defense was talking a lot more.”

The defense, which has been the staple of this year’s team thus far, was nearly flawless once again on Monday night.

Goalkeeper Jadyn Tubbs and her backline that included Sophie Warda and Hailie Virden on the outside as defenders were spot on with their technique and stout positioning.

Turlock allowed just two shots for the game, neither of which was on goal, including no shots allowed for the entire second half.

“From Friday, Saturday till now is a big difference. I felt we possessed the ball a lot in this game,” said Arteaga.

They did, holding the ball and dishing it out on Downey’s half of the field for more than 70 percent of the game.

Turlock’s ability to press and push forward really became evident in the opening seconds.

The Bulldogs never let go of the throttle as the intensity was kept for the entire 80 minutes of action.

Once Drew found the net in the sixth minute of action to go up 1-0, Turlock looked like a team that was playing loose and confident.

They kept on pushing the pace and on multiple occasions in the first half and nearly saw a second goal go in from a plethora of players including Daisy Martinez who managed to get over four shots off, including two headers.

Altogether, Turlock finished with six shots in the first half and over 10 for the game.

“We only scored one goal and had most of our possession on their half of the field, so the next week and a half we will be doing a lot of offense,” said Arteaga. “At the start of the season we worked on defense but I think we are solid there. We need to work on the offensive part and that is the goal till league.”

Turlock improves to 5-0-1 and has allowed just a pair of goals during that span.

Next for Turlock will be their first league contest against El Capitan at a time yet to be announced, Jan. 4.