Golden Eagles soccer squad stunned in title match
ELK GROVE — A season filled with firsts for the Del Oro High soccer program ended with an unpleasant first for this spring.
In their first shot at a Sac-Joaquin Section championship, the Golden Eagles suffered their lone loss of the season. Sierra Foothill League rival Woodcreek defeated Del Oro 4-0 as the Timberwolves claimed their inaugural section soccer banner in the Division II final at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
The Golden Eagles broke a long title drought earlier this spring when they edged out Woodcreek for the SFL championship. The two teams tied twice during the regular season. Saturday it was a different story.
Disaster struck early for the Eagles when Woodcreek’s Kristin Womack curled a corner kick directly into the goal in the seventh minute of the game. A Del Oro defender volleyed the ball near the goal line, but the linesman ruled the ball had already crossed the line as the Eagles gave up just their fourth goal all season.
“It was a close call, but it wasn’t a good way to start the game,” Del Oro coach Ron Benjamin said of the opening goal.
A rare misplay by the Eagles defense led to Woodcreek’s second goal as Lauren Hayano collected an errant pass and showed great composure in the penalty box as she shot a rocket into the right corner.
Rachel Dortch struck the final blow of the first half as her direct kick from 24 yards out found the left corner to give Woodcreek a 3-0 lead.
Del Oro had a handful of opportunities to score, but could not break through against Woodcreek’s quick back line. The Timberwolves added a fourth goal midway through the second half when Dortch headed in a corner kick.
“It was very bizarre. I was really happy with every game of the year except for tonight,” Benjamin said. “We did some things tonight that we’ve never done. Woodcreek is a very good team, but we played our worst game of the season. We made mistakes that we don’t normally make.”
Hayano said the Timberwolves (13-2-7) were fired up for the contest after settling for second place in the league race.
“The first game against them we thought we should have won,” said Hayano, who will play at San Francisco State next year. “This game, we wanted it so bad. It’s our first section banner and we were inspired to win it for our school.”
Del Oro finished the season 9-1-7 overall. The Eagles will bring back all but two starters next season, though they will certainly miss senior Lauren Gollnick, who led the team with 10 goals on the season.
Bradshaw Christian 4, Forest Lake 0 — The Falcons fell to the Pride in the Division VI championship game Saturday morning.
Bradshaw won its second straight section title while Forest Lake lost in its quest for its second title in three seasons.
The Falcons finished the season with a 13-8-1 overall record.