South Fork Soccer to Host NCS Twinbill Wednesday

Sophomore midfielder Jayden Paine will be an important contributor in his first NCS soccer match this Wednesday [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

This Wednesday, November 1, South Fork High School’s boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer teams will host Division 3 North Coast Section Championship games back to back, starting with the Lady Cubs at 5 p.m. against Credo, to be followed by the boys at 7 p.m. against Roseland Collegiate Prep.

The Lady Cubs were 3-3-1 against Division 3 schools and 5-12-2 overall. The team has exceeded expectations this season after losing 7 of 14 players to graduation or family moves in 2016 and having 6 players on the roster with minimal soccer experience.

“Our team is excited to have the opportunity to go NCS, especially the seniors because it is our last chance to go. We are ready to give it our all and even with only 10 players we will bring our A game and will leave our hearts on the field ,” said senior striker and co-captain Olivia Baffert.

In the girls’ bracket the Lady Cubs were seeded 6th and Credo took the 3rd seed. Credo is a public charter high school in Rohnert Park with an enrollment of 245 students. The school was founded in 2011 and emphasizes acedemics through Waldorf teaching methods. The Gryphons are 10-4-1 overall, 10-3-1 in their 10-school league which is comprised almost entirely of Division 3 schools with enrollments below 299 students.

The only common opponents South Fork and Credo have were Calistoga, whom South Fork lost to 6-4 and Credo beat 6-1 and 4-1;  and Mendocino, whom South Fork defeated 1-0 and Credo defeated 5-0 and 7-0.

The Lady Cubs will have their work cut out for them with only 10 healthy players available, but have toughened up over the last week of the regular season by playing short-handed against big schools, and beating Mendocino on the road, finishing with just 9 players on the field.

The outstanding defense of senior Daphne Hobbs will be a big factor in the Lady Cub effort this Wednesday. [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

The winner of Wednesday’s match will go on to play the winner of St. Bernard’s vs. Mendocino on Saturday in Eureka in the event’s semi-final round.

The boys will host Roseland Collegiate Prep, one of the schools that was destroyed in the Santa Rosa fires 3 weeks ago. RCP is seeded 3rd and South Fork 6th. The private high school is still digging out from the disastrous fires and many students have lost their homes in addition to their high school campus. Students were just beginning to meet for class again starting last week. RCP’s enrollment is 165 students. South Fork and RCP have had just 1 common opponent this season: Potter Valley. South Fork defeated Potter Valley 3-2 during the regular season and RCP defeated them 3-0 and 2-0.

First year head coach Kelly Paine likes his chances. “We should have scored more against Potter Valley,” he said. “We have played a lot of defense this season, and have accomplished exactly what we set out to do. We’ve kept scores against big schools close and have not been beaten up. Our defense is set and we’ll be working one hundred percent on offense to prepare for Wednesday.”

The Cubs were 2-13-1 overall and 2-1 against Division 3 Boys’ teams with an enrollment of 174 students and below. RCP was 8-3-3 overall, 4-0-2 in league.

The winner of Wednesday’s match will go on to play the #2 seed, Rincon Valley Christian, on Saturday in the semi-final round.

Even as the lower seed South Fork will host on Wednesday because its facility has the required seating and lighting for a section contest.

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