Turlock High leapfrogged into second place in the Central California Conference standings on Monday with a 2-0 victory over cross-town rival Pitman High. The Pride were eager to maintain their second place position in league prior to the matchup and waged a defensive battle with the Bulldogs for much of the wind-whipped match. Pitman was ultimately unable to withstand Turlock’s offensive pressure, however, and fell to third place in the CCC with the loss.
It was all action from the first whistle as the Bulldogs (6-3-1 CCC) and Pride (5-3-2 CCC) jockeyed for control of the ball. Both teams nearly found the net in the opening minutes of the match but an Aubrey Glidden shot from 12 yards out missed its mark for Turlock while a break for the goal from Pitman’s Katlyn Hanf was stuffed by Bulldog goalie Ashlen Kuntz. A collision on the play between the two ladies resulted in a lost tooth and early exit from the match for Kuntz.
Though they had lost their goalie, the Bulldog defense stood strong with Vanessa Orozco in the keeper’s box. Pitman also displayed a stout defense as goalie Karly Reid weathered a number of Turlock shots, the closest of which came in the 13th and 30th minutes when she deflected a Mariya Fefilova header and watched a Glidden shot ricochet off the crossbar, respectively.
Turlock took to the field in the second half with the wind to its back and a hunger for goals. Fefilova found herself with a pair of scoring opportunities in the 62nd and 65th but her respective header off a cross kick went over the crossbar and her shot went wide. In the middle of the action, Pitman’s Mariah Emmons had an opportunity to score in the 64th minute when Rayana Plancarte delivered her a heel pass inside the box, but Emmons was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
The back and forth, defensive battle persisted up until the 70th minute when Maddy Bowen nailed a 30 yard free kick to give Turlock its first goal. The Bulldogs were on the scoreboard again when Izzy Sousa took a pass from Natalie Larson and scored a 30 yard goal of her own that sailed just over Reid’s fingertips and solidified Turlock’s position at second place in the CCC.
Turlock finished with 21 shots on goal while Pitman finished with seven. Kuntz and Orozco notched one save each while Reid recorded 10 saves.
One round of CCC play remains as Turlock attempts to overtake Golden Valley High at the top spot of league standings. Turlock’s next match will be held at home today against Atwater High at 6 p.m.