Feb 21 – Lady Dons Soccer Moves on to 3rd Round of NCS

If anyone ever says that home field is not an advantage in high school soccer, then they never played in front of a rowdy, fun and completely biased home crowd. On Saturday, Dons’ fans experienced something we had not seen all season; a line to get into the stadium. And the Lady Dons put on a show to remember in their 4-1 win over Las Lomas to move to the Semi-finals of the NCS Playoffs.

Freshman Kierra Krawec (#4), fresh off her 5 goals from Wednesday night, picked up right where she left off by scoring the first goal 9 minutes into the game off a perfect pass up the middle from Junior Regan McQuain ((#13). As the fans roared their appreciation, Acalanes took a 1-0 lead.

Although Acalanes controlled the ball for most of the first half and kept the Knight’s defense busy, the second goal of the game did not come until there was 6 minutes left in the half. That’s when the Don’s offense took the ball down the field and broke through the Las Lomas defense. It started with Katharine Larson (#6) taking a beautiful pass from Molly Davis (#16) and going up the right side. Larson then threaded to Krawec who quickly sent another quick pass to a streaking Caroline Clark (#14). Clark then raced past a defender to the side of the goal and then shot the ball into the left side of the net to make the score 2-0 Acalanes. By this time the Acalanes crowd had grown in both size and noise level and they could feel the energy of the night.

Kierra Krawec
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The second half brought more action as the fans on both sides stepped it up to cheer on their teams. Acalanes came out strong and took advantage of being awarded a corner kick. Clark (#14) sent a high, arching ball to the net which Katharine Torchio (#11) quickly took care of by heading it past the goalie for goal #3. The Dons kept up the pressure on the Knights as they refused to let the ball pass over the midfield line. With 21 minutes left in the half, Las Lomas was awarded a free kick at the 15 yard line. They wasted no time popping the ball over the first line of defense and skipping the ball into the back of the net.

Caroline Clark (14) and Katharine Larson (6)
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The goal was a wakeup call for the Dons and settled them down. Senior Emma Starr (#17) settled her teammates down with precision passing and a return to possession soccer. After a double team by Morgan Rogers (#21) and Davis (#16) which resulted in another steal, Davis sent the ball up to Lexi Silva (#3) who took the ball down and saw Krawec (#4) up the left side. Silva (#3) sent the long ball to Krawec who was off to the races. Krawec took the ball up the left side, stopped turned and kicked the ball past the goalie’s outstretched arms to score the final goal of the game.

Emma Starr
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The Dons defense of Silva (#3), Davis (#16), Starr (#17) and Rogers (#21) plus midfielder Emily Smith (#25) combined for 39 steals. Rogers (#21) and Smith (#25) both had season highs with 10 and 7 respectively. The win put the Dons into the semi-finals where they will take on rival Miramonte at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 25th at Acalanes. The Dons will need every one of their fans to show up and cheer them on as it promises to be an intense and hard fought battle to get to the Championship game.

Emily Smith
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By Nicole Rogers

Scores and stats:
Game: Acalanes HS (18-1-1) vs. Las Lomas HS (10-5-6)
Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Location: Acalanes High School
Halftime Score: 2-0
Final Score: 4-1
Goals: AHS
Goal 1: Kierra Krawek (#4) (9:27)
Goal 2: Caroline Clark (#14) (32:53)
Goal 3: Katharine Torchio (#11) (51:06)
Goal 5: Kierra Krawec (#3) (70:26)
Assists: Regan McQuain (#13) Goal 1; Kierra Krawec (#4) Goal 2; Caroline Clark (#14) Goal 3; Lexi Silva (#3) Goal 5
Saves: Sophia Giordano (#0) – 2 saves (1st half); 1 saves (2nd half)
Goals: Las Lomas HS
Goal 4: (#80) (57:40)
Saves: Victoria Scalfaro (#55) – 3 saves (1st half); 1 (2nd half)

Jan 30 – Lady Dons Soccer defeat Dublin Gaels 5-0

The Lady Dons were inspired by a large crowd on Friday night and played some of their best soccer yet. As the crowd poured in from the end of the basketball game, Acalanes Varsity girls’ soccer team put on an offensive and defensive show and maintained their first place standing in DFAL.

The Dons started things off quickly with sophomore Caroline Clark (#14) taking the ball up the middle to the goalie in the first 3 minutes of the game and putting the ball in the back of the net. And Clark was not done. When sophomore Callie Ericksen (#19) chased down a long pass and kicked the ball off of a Dublin defender, Clark took the corner kick. She sailed a beautiful high ball right above the far post. Out jumping all players by at least a foot, sophomore Morgan Rogers (#21) headed the ball decisively into the opposite corner of the goal to give the Dons a 2-0 lead. Two minutes later, Acalanes was on the attack again. Rogers (#21) sent a long ball to Ericksen (#19) who took it to the right corner and crossed it back into Clark. Clark (#14) took a shot, chased down her own ricochet and then put another beautiful shot into the right corner of the goal. The Dons took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

The second half started with the defense controlling the pace of the game. Acalanes’ defense played a high line and kept the ball on the Dublin side of the field. They allowed only 1 shot on goal the entire 2nd half, while the offense created multiple opportunities to score. With less than 12 minutes left in the game, Acalanes struck again when Kierra Krawec (#4) took a pass from Katharine Larson (#6) and beat out two defenders before she blew the ball past the goalie to make it 4-0 Acalanes.

The last goal came with less than 2 minutes left in the game. Krawec (#4) passed a ball inside to Larson (#6), who quickly spun and shot the ball hitting the far corner. The game ended 5-0 and gave the Lady Dons their 14th win in 15 games.

The Dons continue to lead the league (8-1) but they take on the top 3 teams – Campolindo, Alhambra and Miramonte for their last 3 games. They will take on Miramonte next Friday, Feb. 6th at Miramonte at 6:15 pm.

Scores and stats:
Game: Acalanes HS (14-1-0 Overall and 8-1 Conference) v. Dublin HS (1-13-4 Overall and 0-8-1 Conference)
Date: Friday, January 30th, 2015
Location: Acalanes High School
Halftime Score: 3-0
Final Score: 5-2
Goals: AHS
Goal 1: Caroline Clark (#14) (2:57)
Goal 2: Morgan Rogers, #21 (Caroline Clark, #14)) (25:19)
Goal 3: Caroline Clark, #14 (27:15)
Goal 4: Kierra Krawec, #4 (68:23)
Goal 5: Katharine Larson, #6 (Callie Ericksen, #19) (78:26)
Saves: Sophia Giordano (#0) – 3 saves (1st half)/1 save (2nd half)

By Nicole Rogers

Jan 28 – Acalanes Girls Soccer 2-0 over Dougherty Valley

On paper it looked like it should be an easy win for the Dons. Dougherty Valley came into Wednesday’s game with a 3-9-1 Record and Acalanes came in with a 12-1 record. But Dougherty Valley showed why 8 or their 9 losses were by less than 2 goals and why 6 or their losses were by 1 goal. They play hard and try to capitalize on mistakes.

The game was fast-paced as usual and started off quickly with Kierra Krawec (#4) scoring on a quick flip from Caroline Clark (#14). Krawec weaved past two defenders and drew the goalie out. From there it was an easy kick into the goal to score the first goal.

The rest of the second half was beautiful passing and defense by the Dons. Although the offense played beautifully and created many opportunities, the ball just couldn’t find the net again in the first half.
The second half started with the Wildcats playing with a lot more intensity and getting a few opportunities, but they again could not penetrate Acalanes tough defense. The Acalanes Lady Dons combined for 25 takeaways and wreaked havoc with the Wildcat’s offense.

Although Acalanes had several opportunities (two goals that went wide but the crowd was convinced had gone in), the lone goal of the second half came with 15 minutes left in the game. Acalanes took advantage of another steal and forced the ball back up the middle. Emily Smith (#25) and Clark (#14) put some well-placed passes right at the feet of their strikers. Callie Ericksen (#19) beat her defender and then the goalie to cross her ball directly in front of the net. Krawec (#4) , perfectly positioned and with no goalie to worry about, took Ericksen’s (#19) cross and placed the ball in the back of the net for her 2nd goal of the game. Acalanes’ possession game then took over and the defense kept the ball away from the Wildcats for the majority of the remainder of the game. Coach Sassano’s back four of Morgan Rogers (#21), Lexie Silva (#3), Molly Davis (#16) and Katharine Larson (#6) shut down the Wildcat’s offense, while freshman goalie Sophia Giordano (#0) saved all shots on goal to record the shut out.

The win takes the Dons to 13-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference. The Lady Dons could really use some fan support as they take on Dublin this Friday at 6:15 at Acalanes. The Dons sit in 1st place by themselves, but have 4 very tough games left before the NCS Tournament.

By Nicole Rogers

Scores and stats:

Game: Acalanes HS (13-1-0 Overall and 7-1 Conference) v. Dougherty Valley HS (3-10-1 Overall and 1-5-1 Conference)
Date: Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Location: Acalanes High School
Halftime Score: 1-0
Final Score: 2-0
Goals: AHS
Goal 1: Kierra Krawec (#4) (2:55)
Goal 2: Kierra Krawec, #4 (Assist Callie Ericksen, #19) (64:50)
Saves: Sophia Giordano (#0) – 2 saves (1st half)/5 saves (2nd half) DVHS – 2 saves (1st half)/4 saves (2nd half)

Jan 9 – Lady Dons go down fighting – Alhambra takes over 1st place in DFAL

Alhambra handed the Acalanes girls varsity soccer team their first loss of the year but the Dons did not go quietly. In fact, the two teams battled all the way to the last second of the game.

The first half was full of fast play, defensive battles and great saves by both goalies. Acalanes kept the ball on the other team’s side almost the entire half, but could not put any of their shots in the goal. Acalanes defense did manage to take the ball away 10 times in the first half, with Acalanes defenders Lexi Silva (#3), Emma Starr (#17), Jadey Sadoff (#8) and Morgan Rogers (#21) dominating on their side. The half ended in a 0-0 tie.

The second half started with Alhambra pressing the ball at every second. They fought hard to create opportunities and were rewarded right away with a score 4 minutes into the 2nd half by Melissa Motta off of a corner kick from Kayla Porche (#7). Both teams stepped up their play in the 2nd half with play getting a little more aggressive. Unfortunately for the Dons, they were called for a foul just outside the box. The bulldog goalie came up to the take the kick and sent a low rocket into the pack. Freshman goalie Sophia Giordano (#0) deflected the ball but another Alhambra player Lyndsey Wells (#2) finished it off giving Alhambra a 2-0 lead.

The Dons had several chances to put the ball in the back of the net but Alhambra’s goalie made some incredible saves in the last few minutes of the game. However, with a little under 2 minutes left (before stoppage time was added), the Lady Dons broke through the Alhambra defense. With Katharine Larson (#6), Caroline Clark (#14) and Katharine Torchio (#11) racing down the field, the goalie could not center on one person. As Larson (#6) came through with the ball, the goalie committed to her. Then Larson crossed at the last minute to Clark (#14) who easily put the ball in the back of the net.

With time running out, Larson scooped the ball up and set it at midfield. The Dons quickly stole the ball back from the bulldogs once they started and put a final assault on, taking 4 shots on goal in the last few minutes. Acalanes was then awarded a free kick from about the 25. Freshman Morgan Rogers stepped up and sent a booming kick over everyone and looked about to drop right into the goal but it was punched out at the last second by the Alhambra goalie. Acalanes thought they would then be taking a corner kick, but the ball was awarded to Alhambra. The goalie then kicked the ball up to midfield and the referee blew the whistle indicating the end of the game.

The 2-1 loss takes Acalanes to 10-1-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the Conference. Although Alhambra and Acalanes are both 4-1 in conference play, Alhambra now has the advantage because they won head to head. The Lady Dons will play next at home on Wednesday, January 14th when they take on the Campolindo Cougars. Game time is 6:15 pm at Acalanes.

By Nicole Rogers

Game Stats:

Scores and stats:
Game: Alhambra HS (8-1-0) vs. Acalanes HS (10-1-0)
Date: Friday, January 9, 2015
Location: Alhambra High School
Halftime Score: 0-0
Final Score: 2-1
Goals: Acalanes HS
Goal 3: Caroline Clark (#14) 79:50
Assists: Katharine Larson (#6) Goal 1
Saves: Sophia Giordano (#0) – 4 saves (1st half); 4 saves (2nd half)
Goals: Alhambra HS
Goal 1: Melissa Motta (#9) 44:00
Goal 2: Lindsey Wells (#2) 55:20
Assists: Kayla Porche (#7) Goal 1
Saves: 3 saves (1st half); 4 saves (2nd half)

Jan 7 – Acalanes Girls Soccer Advances to 10-0

…as they knock off Miramonte 5-3

The Lady Dons took on their biggest challenge yet as they met crosstown rival Miramonte in a conference game on Wednesday night. The Dons went into the game tied for the conference lead and trying to stay in first against last year’s DFAL League Champions.

The Mats scored first with Junior Gina Crosetti (#9) taking a cross from Junior Ceci Gee (#7) just 3 minutes and 56 seconds into the game. Acalanes responded a minute later with Katharine Larson (#6) sending a ball outside to Allison Merrill (#2) who put the ball past the Miramonte goalie for the score to tie the game 1-1. Liking the combination, Larson (#6) and Merrill (#2) combined again just 6 minutes later with Merrill feeding the ball to Larson and Larson putting the ball into the net to put the Dons in front 2-1. Both teams took turns possessing the ball until Acalanes’ favorite combo of Katharine Torchio (#11) and Caroline Clark (#14), who together have 23 goals and 11 assists this season, did it again with Clark (#14) taking a corner kick and placing the ball in the middle of the box and Torchio (#11) heading it into the back corner of the net to make it a 3-1 game with 20 minutes left in the first half.
Acalanes back four of Morgan Rogers (#21), Jade Sadoff (#8), Emma Starr (#17) and Lexie Silva (#3) kept the ball on the other side of the field, allowing only 2 more shots on goal for the Mats before the half ended.

Allison Merrill
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Miramonte came out fast and hungry in the second half. Changing strategies, the Mats decided to shoot the ball outside the 20 to avoid the Acalanes defenders. Freshman Angeline Liu (#20) and Junior Cecilia Gee (#7) both scored back to back goals from outside the 20 to tie the game at 3-3. With 30 minutes left in the game, it became a much more physical and intense game. With 11 minutes left in the game, the Matadors fouled Torchio (#11) in the box resulting in a PK for Acalanes. Caroline Clark (#14) quickly stepped up and drilled the ball into the net. That would be all the Dons needed to get the victory, although Torchio (#11) added one more with 2 minutes left on a perfectly placed pass from Merrill (#2) to make it a 5-3 Acalanes victory.

Katharine Torchio (11) scoring a goal
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With Alhambra losing on Wednesday night, the win put Acalanes in first place all by themselves. The Dons, now 10-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play will take on the Alhambra, 7-1 overall and 3-1 in league on Friday night at Alhambra High School. The game will start at 6:15 pm.

By Nicole Rogers

Dec 3 – Girls Varsity Soccer – Acalanes shuts out Berean 9-0

Lady Dons Continue Their Winning Ways

The Acalanes’ Girls Varsity Soccer team braved the wind and rain to host Berean Christian in a non-conference game on Wednesday at Acalanes. Despite the weather, the Lady Dons posted an impressive win against the Eagles, 9-0. As in their previous game, Acalanes dominated on both the offensive and defensive sides, but Sophomore Caroline Clark (#14), Player of the Game, led the team with 3 goals.

The game began with Senior Katharine Torchio (#11) scoring just three and a half minutes into the game on a through ball from Clark (#14). After that it was off to the races as the majority of the game was played on the Berean Christian side of the field. Torchio (#11) scored again 7 minutes later, followed by goals from Sophomore Allison Merrill (#2), Freshman Kierra Krawec (#4), and Clark finished off the 1st half scoring. The Dons took a 5-0 lead into halftime.

The rain let up in the 2nd half, but the Lady Dons did not. The scoring continued just 6 ½ minutes after the start as Clark (#14) weaved her way down the field to put one in unassisted. This was followed by a steal from Sophomore Jessica Carlin (#10) who then passed the ball back into the middle to Katharine Larson (#6) which she promptly put in the back of the net. Getting in on the action was Sophomore Callie Ericksen (#19) who race down the field after a long pass from Clark (#14). Defying the odds (or just using her speed), Ericksen caught up and controlled the ball and then sent a rocket back into the middle for Sophomore Jackie Nichols (#18) to flip into the goal. The final goal came as Clark (#14) finished off the hat trick with less than 2 minutes left in the game on a cross from Ericksen (#19), bringing the final score to 9-0.

The Lady Dons will play one more game this week on Friday, December 5th as they will host Hercules High School. The JV will start it off at 4 pm followed by the Varsity at 6 pm. Don’t miss the chance to see your Lady Dons in action.

Scores and stats:
Game: Acalanes HS (2-0-0) vs. Berean Christian HS (1-2-0)
Date: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Location: Acalanes High School
Halftime Score: 5-0
Final Score: 9-0
Goals: AHS
Goal 1: Katharine Torchio (#11) 3:50
Goal 2: Katharine Torchio (#11) 10:15
Goal 3: Allison Merrill (#2) 16:40
Goal 4: Kierra Krawec (#4) 32.44
Goal 5: Caroline Clark (#14) 38.00
Goal 6: Caroline Clark (#14) 46:32
Goal 7: Katharine Larson (#6) 63:00
Goal 8: Jackie Nichols (#18) 72:46
Goal 9: Caroline Clark (#14) 78:00
Assists: Caroline Clark (#14) Goal 1; Katharine Larson (#6) Goal 3; Allison Merrill (#2) Goal 4; Jessica Carlin (#10) Goal 7; Callie Ericksen (#19) Goal 8

by Nicole Rogers

Feb 13 – Lady Dons Play Brilliantly on Senior Night

It was a beautiful night for soccer as the Lady Dons paid tribute to their seven varsity seniors before they took the field on Thursday night. It may have been the last game in high school for Seniors Bella Gotts (8), Phoebe Wixsom (1), Gabby Paolini (15), Katie Stensland (14), Jordan Hinds (9), Carrie Goodman (4), and Sabrina Kenney (2), and they made sure it was an exciting one.

Girls Soccer 2013-14 Seniors
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As has been the case in the majority of games this year, the first half was dominated by the defense and Goalie Phoebe Wixsom (1). Wixsom had four saves in the half including a phenomenal head to head slide tackle that left everyone on both sides breathless. Senior Defender Bella Gotts (8) stepped in several times to help clear the ball and set up some nice feeds to Seniors Jordan Hinds (9) and Gabby Paolini (15).  The Dons threatened offensively in the first half, but Wildcat’s Goalie Jade Fathollahi(6) had five saves of her own in the half.

Phoebe Wixsom
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Tied 0-0, the 2nd half began with what Don’s commentator Brenda Balfrey calls their “Reset Offense”.  The Dons took possession and then passed it back to their defensive line to set up their offense.  Although Seniors Goodman (4) and Kenney (2) tried to open up the middle, the ball still didn’t find the back of the net for the Dons.  Just when all the momentum seemed to be with Acalanes, Dougherty Valley Senior Cache Haley (24) put the ball in the far corner of the goal with an assist from fellow Wildcat Jessica Gomes (9).  Don fans may have had a sense of déjà vu, as Haley did the exact same thing in the last match up in which the Wildcats won 1-0.

Instead of quieting the Dons fans, the goal served to rejuvenate both fans and players.  Freshmen Katharine Larson (6) and Caroline Clark (11) wove their way through a sea of Wildcats to push the ball onto the Wildcats side of the field.  They then “reset” and Freshmen defenders Jadey Sadoff (28) and Molly Davis (16) sent it back up to the mids.  With a ruckus crowd chanting from the bleachers, Sophomore Regan McQuain (13) took the ball in the backfield and shot it off to PaoliniPaolini kicked the ball up to Freshman forward Morgan Rogers (5) who made a nice turn and outran two Wildcat defenders toward the goal. With only the goalie to beat, Rogers sent the ball past the goalie and the Dons finally landed a ball into the back of the net.

The Dons seemed to be on fire at that point and managed to get off 3 more shots including 2 shots by Rogers and Junior Blake Balfrey (21) in the last 30 seconds of the game. However, when the final whistle blew, the game had ended in a tie, Wixsom had recorded 9 saves and the Dons had played another exciting soccer game.

The Dons ended the season 4-9-4 overall and 0-8-4 in league.  They will await the final selection of teams into the NCS Tournament, but in or out, the girl’s team at the end of regular season is far superior to the team that started the season.

Nicole Rogers

Wed., Feb. 6 – Lady Dons play Rival Campolindo to a Draw

Acalanes Lady Dons took on rival Campolindo on Wednesday night and almost managed to grab the win from the 2nd place Cougars. The first half saw few shooting opportunities as both teams played great defense.  Sophomore Goalie Kyle McQuain began the game with a challenge on a breakaway, confident that Freshman defender Mollie Davis would cover.  Davis (16) recorded the first save of the game as McQuain forced the shot wide for Davis to step up and clear.

Kyle McQuain
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After that, the game was played primarily between the 45 yard lines as the mid-field and defense on both teams possessed the ball for the rest of the half. The Dons started the second half by pushing the ball through the midfield to take two shots on goal in the first five minutes.  However, it was Campo that scored first off of a free kick by Emily Orwig which took the Dons by surprise and left them unprepared. The Dons answered less than 3 minutes later with a beautiful through ball from Sophomore Regan McQuain (13) to Junior Blake Balfrey (21) on the right side.  Campo Goalie Parish came out to challenge but Balfrey was not to be denied.  She powered the shot over the goalie and bent it from the right into the left corner of the goal. The Dons maintained possession for most of the second half, mainly because the Cougars kept getting robbed as they tried to get past outside defenders Junior Emma Starr (12) and Senior Bella Gotts (8).  Starr’s control and speed and Gotts’ continuous attacks left only one real opening for the Cougars in the 2nd half.  Campo did get a shot off, but Sophomore Goalie Kyle McQuain made a spectacular save to deny the goal.  The Dons had one more opportunity with less than 20 seconds left in the game.  A through ball to Freshman Morgan Rogers (5) who took on the goalie and used her left foot to shoot it but missed just left.  At that point, the Campo fans had to be happy to hear the whistle signaling the end of the game, while the Dons’ fans wanted a few more minutes! The tie takes the Dons to 4-7-3 overall and 0-6-3 in League and Campolindo to  12-2-4 overall and 6-2-2 in League.  The Dons will take on Las Lomas on Friday, February 7th, at home.

Emma Starr
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Jan 29 – Lady Dons and Dublin Gaels battle to 0-0 Draw

While not reflected in the score, the Acalanes’ and Dublin’s women’s soccer teams put on one of the most exciting soccer games played this year on Wednesday, January 29th.  This game had everything you could want in a game, except a goal.

The first half was the tale of Senior Goalie Phoebe Wixsom (1).  Wixsom had 9 saves in the first half, including a spectacular save where she need all or her 5 feet 11 inches plus wing span to stop a ball that was deflected and going into the opposite corner of the goal.  The Acalanes defense managed to fluster the Gaels making most of their shots on goal easy pickups for Wixsom.

Up front, the offense created huge opportunities, shooting on goal 7 times in the first half.  Senior Gabby Paolini (15) continued her solid play by taking the ball away from Gaels midfielders and feeding it to Freshman Forwards Caroline Clark and Morgan Rogers. Although they tried to put the ball in, the half ended with no score.

In the second half, the Acalanes back four of Senior Bella Gotts, Junior Emma Starr and Freshmen Molly Davis and Katharine Larson were completely dominant.  Wixsom only needed three saves to preserve the shut out. The offense kicked it in gear in the second half and tried to counter the defense’s superb play with 10 shots on goal. Although close, the Gaels goalie also had a superb game.

The game ended 0-0, with both goalies registering 12 saves.  Overall, Acalanes took 17 shots on goal, with Dublin taking 14.  The Lady Dons played an exciting and action packed game, and possessed the ball the majority of the 2nd half.

The Dons are 2-7-2 overall and will take on Redwood Christian this Saturday at 1 pm at Acalanes.  They could use the Don Nation fans to come out and cheer them on as they will need to win all their remaining games to be eligible for the NCS tournament.

Nicole Rogers