|On January 24th, 2012 the Scotts Valley Falcons traveled to Soquel High School to play the Soquel Knights. The Falcons entered the game with a Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League (SCCAL) leading 4 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie while posting a 2011-12 season mark of 7 wins, 3 losses and 3 ties. The Falcons go into the game ranked #1 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel Power Poll Rankings for Santa Cruz County.
The lady Knights entered the game with an impressive record. The Knights posted a 2010-11 season record of 13 wins, 3 losses and 3 ties. The Knights have posted an impressive record of 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie in the SCCAL and a 2011-12 overall record so far of 7 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. The Knights have been dominating their opponents by scoring 41 goals this season to 6 goals allowed. The lady Knights are currently ranked #4 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel Power Poll Rankings in Santa Cruz County. The Knights have a skilled team, fast, quick to the ball, have played and beat several very competitive teams.
The game was started with excellent field conditions and great weather. The Falcons knew they had to play a great game defensively against a high scoring Knights offense. The Falcons were well aware that scoring opportunities would be limited against the stingy Knights defense.
The first half was played as expected. All balls on the ground and in the air were challenged by aggressive play. The Falcons played well at times stringing several passes together but on numerous occasions the Knights players caused errant passes. Most of the play was in the middle of the field with both defenses doing their job superbly. The first half was a hard fought battle by both teams. The first half had the Falcons putting 3 shots on goal while the Knights also had 3 shots on goal. The half ended with the score being, Falcons 0 to the Knights 0.
At half time the Falcons made a few adjustments and a change of strategy. Our Falcons wanted to control the ball in possession and give the opportunities for our forwards and inside midfielders to make their runs. When play started the game was again pretty much dominated by defense. Around the 65th minute and beyond the Falcon offense was coming to life, beginning to hit their stride and connect with their passes and breakaways. The Falcons managed to turn up the heat and put at least 3 great shots on the Knights goalkeeper. The Falcons felt the momentum had swung to our side when in the 70th minute senior outside midfielder Ranae Maloney received a pass, broke free on the right sidelines and beat her defender. Ranae took the ball to the corner and sent a great crossing pass to the center of the field. The Knights goalkeeper went for the cross but was unable to get to the ball. Senior outside midfielder Jessica Romeo was streaking in from the left side of the field and took the bouncing pass with her left foot and knocked the ball into the right side of the Knights goal for a Falcon score. The Falcons briefly celebrated but went back to work to secure the win. The rest of the game was both teams trying to manage an attack but again the defenses prevailed. The second half had the Falcons with 4 more shots on goal while the Knights put 4 more shots on goal. The game ended with the score being Falcons 1 to the Knights 0.
Once again the Falcon defense played very well. The defenses strong play, marking the swift Knights forwards, clearing the balls, stopping runs and challenging the ball in the air and on the ground was the cornerstone for our team. The defense was once again led by senior captain Jordin Carlson, senior captain Kalynn Morano, junior Kacey Lilly and sophomore Megan Keating. The defense played as a unit and offered the Knights very few opportunities and forced the opposition to get few good shots.
The Falcon goalkeeping was played by junior captain Emily Johnson who had another fantastic game. Emily is the anchor within our defense that offers very little opportunities for our opponents. Emily was able to aggressively attack and smother several balls entering our 18 yard box and stop the Knights threat immediately. Emily was instrumental with coordinating the play of our defense.
The midfielders had a dynamic game. The Falcon midfielders on the inside and outside played well and gave 100% effort. The inside midfielders were senior captain Madison Black, senior captain Emily Payne, senior Shanan McFall and junior Rachel DuBridge. The outside midfielders were played by senior Ranae Maloney, senior Jessica Romeo and senior Kathryn Balch.
The Falcon forwards played with a high octane energy of speed that put consistent pressure on the Knights defense. The forwards made several runs that stretched the field and initiated threats on the Knights goal. The forwards were played by senior Sonja Gustafsson, senior Taylor Rohde, sophomore Darby McFall and junior Jessie DuBridge.
I want to thank the Knights for a well played game. The Knights played with effort, skill and the class of a well run team. The Knights are a good team that deserves all the respect they receive.
Our record now stands at 5 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie after the first half of the SCCAL season. Our overall 2011-12 record now stands at 8 wins, 3 losses and 3 ties. Our next game will be on Thursday, Jan 26th, 3:30 PM at Scotts Valley High against the St Francis C. C. Catholic Sharks.