Lady Cubs Soccer 2-0 in Early Season

Kylie Messenger had two goals in Wednesday’s win over Willits [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

South Fork High’s Lady Cubs Varsity Soccer team got off to a winning start this season, defeating Willits 4-1 last Wednesday and collecting a win by forfeit from Anderson Valley the previous weekend.

The win over Willits was the team’s first win over the Wolverines since Homecoming 2015. The game was an end to end battle in which the Cubs had more quality chances, but needed the unflinching defense of senior co-captains sweeper Daphne Hobbs and fullback Stef Bautista as well as the stellar goalkeeping of sophomore Paloma Avilez to secure the win.

South Fork got on the board first when junior midfielder Sophia Wallace-Boyd slotted a through ball to junior co-captain striker Kylie Messenger who drilled a hard shot from 20 yards out into the upper left corner of the net. Toward the end of the half, a Willits midfielder collected a loose ball about 25 yards outside the goal and floated it over Avilez’ head into the top corner of South Fork’s goal for the Wolverines’ only score of the afternoon.

The sure-footed defense of Daphne Hobbs helped preserve the win over Willts [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

It took numerous strong diving saves by an outstanding Wolverine keeper to hold the Cubs to just one goal in the half.

The Lady Cubs came out strong in the second half and ten minutes into the half senior co-captain striker Olivia Baffert took a pass from Messenger and broke through the Willits back line to beat the keeper 1V1, making the score 2-1 South Fork. Willits continued to attack, but South Fork’s defense was just good enough to prevent another score.

Baffert scored again, unassisted, as she dribbled through the Willits defense and beat the keeper again for her second goal.

Messenger rounded off the South Fork scoring by taking a through ball from junior midfielder Ishi Mahony and poking a low shot past the diving Willits keeper.

The Lady Cubs got a forfeit win from Anderson Valley on the previous Saturday when the team traveled all the way to Boonville to play, but the home team did not show up and was never informed of the game due to a communications error by Anderson Valley.

Olivia Baffert scored twice in Wednesday’s win over Willits [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

The Lady Cubs graduated 6 seniors and lost another quality player to relocation after last season’s successful run to a berth in the North Coast Section play-offs, and have only 7 returners to this year’s squad, along with 7 players new to high school soccer, including four freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors.

Junior midfielder Kaya Voelkers is in her second year on the team and will be playing on the wing. Junior winger Regina Salomon brings varsity assertiveness and competitive instinct to the team while she learns the skills. Junior Ishi Mahony brings speed and a few years of youth league experience to her role as a winger. Sophomore Harley Bates returns to the game she enjoyed in the youth leagues and brings hard-nosed defense and quick feet to her midfield spot. Marian Del Rio is a fearless freshman with a lot of skill and potential in the midfield. Kaylee Pogue has a strong leg and the necessary calm and patient demeanor of a defender. Freshman Alahni Christianson is a fast and skilled winger. Freshman Jaylenne Harris will join the team for its league opening contest this Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at South Fork against Ferndale.

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