The #5 seeded Girls Varsity Soccer Team traveled to Manteca to take on #4 seed Manteca High School on Tuesday night. Still reeling from their NCS Championship, the girls had to dig deep in order to move past Manteca.
The biggest adjustment that the team needed to make was that they had to play on a small, grass field. It’s a much different game than playing on turf! That being said, the Dons came out very flat in the first half. Not a lot of intensity, poor communication. But this is no ordinary team. It’s truly a family. With several injuries and illnesses going around this team, there is someone else there, ready to step up and help out their fellow teammates and family.
Elle Skvarna had just entered the game in the left-back position with about 20 minutes remaining in the first half. Kate Carter gained possession of the ball from a shot on goal. She rolls the ball to Ivy Souza in the midfield. Ivy turns to find Elle making a run up the left side. Elle takes some space to connect with Emily Keeler with a beautiful pass up the middle. Emily is able to get around two defenders and the goalkeeper to get the ball into the net! An incredible goal due to teamwork and sheer tenacity on Emily’s part. Dons up 1-0 and that is where the score remained at the half.
The second half proved to be better soccer for the Dons. It took them some time to adjust to the grass field. They started connecting passes and were playing tough defense. Midway through the second half, the girls were able to use possession to get another goal. Again, Ivy Souza was able to gain possession in the midfield. She dishes it off to Tatum Zuber on the left side. Tatum cuts back to the center and makes a cross to the right side of the field to find Emily Keeler and Emily bangs it in for her second goal of the game! Dons up 2-0. Manteca had a few chances to score, but the Dons’ defense was able to hold them off. Another gritty performance. And this would be the final score.
Kate Carter had some terrific saves in goal to keep Manteca off the scoreboard. Sami Hansen was a brick wall in the center, especially in the second half. Freshman Emmi Cronin came in with fresh legs up top to give our forwards a rest and she played tremendously well. Olivia Parnell did an excellent job at the left-back position to fill in for an ill Dylan Hagglund. Natasha Malinovsky also played well in the midfield, connecting passes and tough on defense. Emily Keeler was the true star of this game–2 goals and she played with high intensity. #donsstepup!
Next up for the Dons will be a home game on Thursday for the Semi-Finals. The #8 seed Burlingame defeated the #1 seed Mountain View, so the Dons will face Burlingame at home at 4pm. Come cheer on our Dons! #donsshowup #donsfamily