Girls’ Soccer Bounces Back

Junior striker Olivia Baffert wins the ball despite being tugged on by a Mendocino defender. Photo by Suzanne Van Meter

Junior striker Olivia Baffert wins the ball despite being tugged on by a Mendocino defender. [Photo by Suzanne Van Meter]

South Fork High School’s Girls’ Soccer team won one and lost a close game last week, bringing their mid-season overall record to 3-6, and improving their small school record to 3-2.

On the road in Mendocino last Monday the Cubs won handily, 4-1. Senior midfielder Noelia Alatorre scored 15 minutes into the first half from about 10 yards out on a long assist pass by freshman fullback Paloma Avilez.

Sophomore striker Kylie Messenger got on the board next with her team-leading 5th goal of the season, assisted by fellow striker, junior Olivia Baffert. Baffert got a second assist when she crossed the ball to senior midfielder Victoria Van Meter who buried her shot from about 8 yards out.

The score was 3-0 at halftime. About ten minutes into the second half Mendocino scored when a defensive miscommunication allowed one of their forwards to poke in a lucky shot. Baffert got South Fork’s final goal on an unassisted breakaway for her first goal of the season.

Also playing well against Mendo was senior winger Nadia Wilke who tirelessly took the ball down the right flank and crossed it in front of the goal, keeping the pressure on the Cardinal defense throughout the game.

Senior Winger Nadia Wilke delivers a cross in last Monday's 4-1 win over Mendocino [Photo by Suzanne Van Meter]

Senior Winger Nadia Wilke delivers a cross in last Monday’s 4-1 win over Mendocino [Photo by Suzanne Van Meter]

On Wednesday the Lady Cubs made the long trek to Del Norte and found themselves down 3-0 just 20 minutes into the game. A 35 yard free kick got Del Norte on the board when it sailed just under the crossbar and over senior goalie Alex Tapia’s fingertips. The next two goals came on misplayed balls in the Cub defense, alertly collected by the Lady Warriors and put away for the 3-0 lead.

Late in the first half senior sweeper Raya Mahony was moved into a forward position to shake up the South Fork offense. Sophomore Michael Perricone took over the Mahony’s usual pressure-packed role of sweeper. When sophomore striker Kylie Messenger was fouled just outside the penalty box Mahony scored on a quick free kick, taken before Del Norte had a chance to set up their defense. The halftime score was 3-1.

In the second half Mahony scored again early in the period when a loose ball in front of the Warrior goal could not be controlled by the Del Norte defense. It escaped the keeper’s grasp and landed at Mahony’s feet and she made the opportunistic tap-in for the score.

The Cubs continued to dominate possession throughout the half and took a dozen shots, but were unable to tie the game. Contributing to the strong second half was outstanding effort on defense by junior fullback Stef Bautista, along with Perricone at sweeper and freshman fullback Paloma Avilez. The midfield engine of seniors Van Meter and Alatorre provided good service to the forwards throughout the game. Junior winger Alyssa Rogers battled for possession from the left wing and was able to feed the offense repeatedly.

This week the Cubs will begin the second round of Humboldt del Norte League play, hosting Ferndale on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. kick-off. On Friday they will play a non-league game against Willits for Homecoming, with a 3 p.m. kick-off in Miranda. If South Fork wins both of those matches they will be guaranteed to qualify for a berth in the North Coast Section Championship Tournament in November.

On Saturday the Cubs will travel to McKinleyville for a 1 p.m. kick-off.


One comment

  • Henchman Of Justice

    Enjoyed the write up, especially on the second match. It reads the Cubs (not using “lady” cuz all students are Cubs) traveled on a school day to CC (ouch, tight muscles, etc)

    It also reads the Cubs started out pathetically slow but led a crescendo comeback that fell short……maybe the second match later in Miranda the Cubs will be fine tuned and play frantic futbol outta the gates like a triple crown thoroughbred……the difference in sports at winning and losing is never let your guard up or down, but be consistent, work in unison always……a team is only as good as its weakest links……penalties, lethargic play, not nourished properly, good sleep, etc…no excuses…..and full teamwork, not alienating a soul……Good Job Cubs, one more opportunity to flip the script….good luck.

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