Turlock forward Jenna Dean scored in the 25th minute, helping the Turlock High girls to a 1-0 victory over Enochs on Wednesday in a battle of undefeated Central California Athletic League teams.
Two days later, the Bulldogs trailed at halftime for just the second time this season, but came to win 3-2 over Gregori on Shaylan Roy-Williams’ goal in the 60th minute.
The wins were the eighth and ninth in a row for the Bulldogs, who improve Bulldogs improve to 9-2-2 and 6-0 in CCAL action. Enochs fell to 8-6 and 3-1, as the first half of CCAL play came to a close on Wednesday.
Turlock is one up in the loss column on Enochs and crosstown rival
The Bulldogs and Pride will meet for the second time this season on Wednesday, under the lights at Joe Debely Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m.
Against Enochs, the Bulldogs had several scoring opportunities in the contest, but were only able to cash in on a set-piece with about 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
After the Eagles were called for a hand ball, Gracie Ronveaux set up for a free kick from about 30 yards out. She lofted the ball inside the box and Dean rose high above the crowd to head it past the keeper for game’s only tally.
The goal came just minutes after the Bulldogs nearly scored on corner kick.
"When I almost scored on the corner before, I knew that an opportunity like that wasn’t going to come again very closely,” said Dean. “I knew that next one I had to put away, and I just went up there, just jumped as high as I could and put it in.”
Turlock coach Nicole Lonergan thought this was her team’s best game to date.
“We had quite a few scoring opportunities today,” said Lonergan. “We utilized our wide spaces effectively and were able to make some nice crosses,” said Lonergan. “It was the best we’ve played. It was beautiful soccer."
That beautiful soccer was brought about, partly, by the Bulldogs’ win over rival Pitman on Jan. 13, according to Dean.
“I think playing Pitman on the road and having that big win against them helped us prepare,” said Dean. “We went into the game with the same mentality we had against Pitman. We knew it was going to be hard, we knew it was going to be a war. We prepared the same way, we took it seriously, we went in there and got the job done.”
The reigning CCAL MVP praised the contributions of her teammates.
“I’m really proud of my team and how well we’ve been doing this year and how we’ll we’ve been working together,” said Dean. “I’m really excited to see how the second half goes for us.”
The second half of the season got off to a bit of shaky start for the Bulldogs against Gregori.
After Dean gave Turlock a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game, the Jaguars countered with two goals — one on a penalty kick — and led 2-1 at the intermission.
“I didn’t say much at halftime,” Lonergan said. “My captains (Dean, Anika Olive, Emma Schwinden, Gracie Ronveaux) stepped up and asked if they could speak. They said that we weren’t going to win the game playing as individuals; that we have to win as a team. I just added that what’s going to make us a great team is how we respond.”
Dean tied the game early in the second half with her second goal. Later, Dean and Isis Cosio assisted on Roy-Williams’ game-winner.