The Acalanes Girls Soccer team put on a dramatic show Saturday with an electrifying come from behind win over host Heritage. After a 0-0 first half, the Dons trailed 1-0 with less than ten minutes to play. However, after the Dons earned just their second corner kick of the day, Emily Smith sent the ball in toward the back post where Caitlin McDonagh volleyed it home to tie the score. Just minutes later, Caroline Clark broke free through the Heritage defense for a one-on-one with the Heritage keeper. Clark’s first shot was blocked, but undaunted she sent the rebound into the net for the go-ahead goal. Heritage then pushed their attack to rally back, but that exposed the back line and allowed Clark to loop a pass over the defenders to a streaking Kierra Krawec who put the Dons up to the final 3-1 advantage. The Dons defense led by Molly Davis, Callie Ericksen, Jessie Carlin, and Elle Skvarna along with keeper Sophia Giordano put forth another strong effort with improvised lineups.
The Dons return to League play on Wednesday night when they host Alhambra at 7:00 p.m.
The Acalanes Dons opened the second half of Diablo Athletic League play and came away with the same result as in the League opener – a 2-2 tie. While the Dons came back late in the opener, this time it was the visitors from College Park who scored twice in the last 13 minutes to level the match.
The Dons spent most of the first half in control of the match – albeit in their defensive end. The back line of center backs Molly Davis and Sam Bell and outside backs Jessie Carlin, Jade Sadoff, and Mea Mitchell along with holding midfielder Callie Ericksen put up a solid, ball controlling defense which tested keeper Sophia Giordano. Giordano turned back the single genuine threat with a terrific saving punch of the ball. Most of the offense for the Dons in the first half came on counter attacks and through balls. In the 22nd minute, Kierra Krawec sent a long diagonal through ball to a streaking Caroline Clark who converted it into the Dons’ first goal from the left side. Clark had the Dons nearest miss of the first half when her later shot was deflected by the keeper off the crossbar.
Samantha Bell Click on image to buy game photos
The second half opened very differently. The Dons dominated the first 25 minutes by consistently possessing and pushing in their offensive end. That work paid off in the 58th minute when Krawec found Emily Smith on the right side and Smith definitively drove home the second goal for a 2-0 lead. Perhaps the Dons took the foot off the pedal at that point or College Park became more urgent, but the match became much more balanced at that point with each team trading offensive surges toward the goal. College Park converted their first goal in the 67th minute with a goal from the right side. Uncontent to sit on their lead, the Dons responded with multiple offensive pushes, many of which featured a streaking Allison Merrill down the left side. On one such run, with only the keeper in front of Merrill, she was taken down from behind just outside the box in a foul which drew only a yellow card. As the Dons pushed their own attack, College Park would counter. One such counter led to a left side corner kick inside of two minutes which tied the match and led to the final score of 2-2.
Molly Davis Click on image to buy game photos
The tie brings the Dons’ League record to 2-2-2. They play again today on the road at Heritage in a non-league contest at 1:00.
The Acalanes Girls’ Soccer team completed its first half swing through the Diablo Athletic League with a 4-1 victory over rival Miramonte.
On the scoring side, the Dons were led by Kierra Krawec’s hat trick off assists from Emily Smith and Callie Ericksen. Krawec returned the favor by assisting on the Dons’ fourth goal which was scored by Smith. The Dons held a 2-0 halftime lead by virtue of goals by Krawec (7th minute) and Davis (39th minute). Three minutes into the second half, Miramonte pulled to within a goal after converting a penalty kick after a rare penalty called on the Acalanes keeper. The match remained close until the final three minutes when Krawec’s final two goals sealed the deal for the Dons. On the defensive side, Molly Davis returned to defensive back line and put up a solid defensive effort in front of keeper Sophia Giordano.
The Dons finish the first half of DAL play with a 2-2-1 record and host College Park (the single tie from the first half) on Friday night.
The Acalanes women’s soccer team claimed their first victory of the early Diablo Athletic League campaign with a strong 6-1 win over rival Campolindo. The Dons got on the board in the very first minute of the match when Caroline Clark delivered the ball to outside attacker Allison Merrill streaking down the left side and Merrill then delivered a tight cross which Greta Kohls drove home into the net. The match remained tight for the next twenty-five minutes before the Dons tallied four goals in the course of ten minutes to take a 5-0 halftime lead. Kierra Krawec and Clark each tallied two goals in the ten minute goal blitz with assists coming from Merrill (2), Krawec, and Serena Singh.
Molly Davis Click on image to buy game photos
The sole Campo goal on the evening came in the 7th minute of the second half. Except for that lone goal, the Dons defense was outstanding and was led by senior keeper Hannah Kramer with center backs of Molly Davis, Samantha Bell, and Jade Sadoff and holding mid Callie Ericksen. The Dons re-established a 5 goal advantage in the 61st minute when Merrill drew a foul just outside the box on the left side and Emily Smith converted the ensuing direct kick.
Caroline Clark Click on image to buy game photos
The Dons are now idle for the next week for finals and return to action next Friday night when they host Las Lomas.
Dons Soccer Ties in Seesaw Opener with College Park.
The Dons Women’s Soccer team opened play in the new Diablo Athletic League Friday night at College Park. The Dons jumped out to an early 1–0 lead when Jessica placed a perfect right foot volley on a corner kick delivered by Emily Smith in the fifth minute. The match remained tight through halftime. Midway through the match Coach Anthony Rescon changed up to a 4-3-3 alignment. The midfield machine of Smith, Molly Davis, and Callie Ericksen controlled much of the remainder of the match except for the occasional College Park counterattack. They fed the dons attackers Kierra Krawec, Caroline Clark, and Allison Merrill, but the Dons went nearly 50 minutes without another goal. In the meantime College Park tied and then went ahead on second half goes down the left side of the College Park attack. The relentless Don’s pulled even in the 58th minute when Krawec headed home a left side cross from Clark. Each side had their chances in the final minutes, but neither could break through to go ahead.
The Dons next match will be Wednesday at Alhambra.
The Acalanes Women’s Soccer team took to the pitch Friday night in their enhanced preseason campaign when they hosted traditional Division I powerhouse Monte Vista. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it truly was a Tale of Two Halves. The first half was a balanced affair with both sides making attacks and moving the ball up and down the field with speed and regularity. In the end, it was the Dons who came out on top with a 1-0 halftime lead. In the 32nd minute, Caroline Clark’s strong left side run was ultimately deflected over the end line to set up a Dons’ corner kick. Serena Singh sent the ensuing corner kick into the box where it deflected off a Monte Vista player to stake the home Dons to a 1-0 advantage.
Reminiscent of the season opening match, the second half was a different affair. The Dons struggled to clear their defensive end as Monte Vista cut off the Dons’ extended passing lanes. In the process, right defender Georgia Karas ran down several free runs from the Monte Vista attack with the support of fellow center backs Molly Davis and Samantha Bell. In the process, Dons’ keeper Sophia Giordano made multiple saves, including two one handed punches. In the course of that attack, the Dons turned back three corner kicks in the course of a single minute. Ultimately, a Monte Vista striker broke through the left side for the equalizing goal in the 60th minute. Monte Vista then took the advantage with a second goal five minutes later when another left side shot deflected off the Dons’ keeper and was driven home. The Dons created some late offensive push in the final ten minutes, but were unable to convert the effort into an equalizing goal.
The Dons’ last pre-winter break contest will be next Wednesday when they travel to Vallejo High for a match scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.
Lady Dons Soccer Welcomes Anthony Rascon to the Helm!
It’s official! Anthony Rascon will lead the two-time defending DFAL Champion Lady Dons into their inaugural campaign in the new Diablo Athletic League. Rascon succeeds Evan Sassano who now serves as the Assistant Men’s Coach at San Francisco State. It was actually Sassano who promoted Rascon for the position after the two had coached together. Rascon is a 2014 graduate of the University of California at Davis where he played for the Aggies as a defender and center-midfielder before graduating with a double major in Sociology and Spanish Literature. The latter placed him on the Dean’s List for academic excellence in both 2013 and 2014. Rascon’s on-the-field talents placed him in the pool for the U23 El Salvador National Team. He also played professionally for the indoor Sacramento Surge for three years (2012-14).
Prior to UC Davis, Rascon was a four year varsity player and two-time All-League Selection for De Anza High School where he also excelled in the classroom to be recognized as the graduating Valedictorian. As he looks back on his own high school experience, Rascon recalls, “Playing for De Anza High School was a great precursor for playing at UC Davis. Both high school and college replicate a similar responsibility and vibe of representing your school and community to the best of your potential. Those lessons and memories helped improve my leadership skills and soccer foundation.”
Rascon looks forward to embracing the challenge and opportunity of inheriting and building on the recent Lady Dons success. He says, “Being able to represent your school and play in front of your family and friends under the lights during the shivering fall and winter nights, there is something radiant about it!”
Two-Time Defending DFAL Champion Lady Dons Ready to Open 2016-17 Campaign!
After two years of historic on-the-field success as the two-time defending DFAL Champions, the Lady Dons open their new campaign as part of the newly configured Diablo Athletic League, Valley Conference.
The practice schedule for “tryout week” will be for training sessions on Monday and Tuesday from 8-10 p.m. and on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. All players should have their athletic clearance paperwork completed and signed off before the first questions. Please direct any questions to Athletic Director Takahashi or to email@example.com. Go Dons!
The 2016 Lady Dons soccer team prevailed in their NCS quarter-final match Saturday night 2-0 of Tamalpais High to return to and host the NCS semi-finals for the second year in a row. Although the Dons spent virtually the entire first half in the offensive half, the score remained an even 0-0 at halftime. After multiple near misses early in the second-half, the Dons’ leading scorer Emily Smith got the Dons on the board when she converted on a smooth pass from the right side by senior playmaker Regan McQuain. McQuain then set up the second goal with another clean pass to Sasha Sadoff whose shot attempt rebounded off the Tam keeper to the feet of Kierra Krawec who converted the goal.
Emily Smith Click on image to buy game photos
From there it was pretty much clear sailing to the end as the Dons midfield of Bella Baglietto, Allison Merrill, Cate Combi, Smith, and McQuain along with the push from outside backs Jesse Carlin and Mea Mitchell rarely let the ball even reach midfield except when they chose. The Tam strikers did make two late runs, but center back Callie Ericksen ran them down each time to preserve Dons keeper Sophia Giordano’s second consecutive shutout.
Sasha Sadoff Click on image to buy game phtoos
The Dons now host the semi-final next Wednesday at 7:00 in in a true rivalry matchup against Las Lomas who finished a single point behind the DFAL champion Dons.
In a match which will be remembered as “The Regatta on the Pitch”, the Lady Dons sailed past Newark Memorial in the first round of NCS play 4-0. The rain flooded Acalanes home field was literally inches deep at times – so much so that the officials halted the match in the first half to inquire whether the teams wanted to continue. Coach Evan Sassano said play on and his Lady Dons did.
Emily Smith got things going with a goal late in the first half. Kierra Krawec and Regan McQuain pushed the score to 3-nil when each made strong center runs and finishes in the second half. The Dons’ Allison Merrill closed out the scoring when she head flicked a perfect corner kick from Bella Baglietto into the upper right corner of the net.
Dons keeper Sophia Giordano collected the shutout as the flooded field and her defensive back line of Mea Mitchell, Jesse Carlin, Cate Combi, and Callie Ericksen kept her inactive for much of the night.
The Lady Dons continue their NCS journey Saturday night when they host Tamalpais High.