South Fork’s varsity girls lost their season opener 3-1 to Fort Bragg last Wednesday afternoon in Miranda.
The opening half was a contest of even end-to-end possession with South Fork creating the first scoring opportunity on a break-away by freshman Victoria Van Meter that was stifled by a strong save by the Fort Bragg keeper.
With the game scoreless at half time, Fort Bragg was first to find the back of the net shortly into the second half on a low shot that squirted out of the congestion in front of the Cubs’ goal into the back right corner of the net. The Lady Cubs answered with a goal from Van Meter on an assist from freshman Madisyn Salomon. The score stayed tied for 15 minutes while both teams created a few chances, Fort Bragg looking like the more mature and experienced team that it is.
The Lady Wolverines took advantage of poor defensive positioning from the Cubs and two perfectly placed shots from Fort Bragg midfielder Dolores Huerta scored the go-ahead and insurance goals in rapid succession with about ten minutes left in the game.
With just five upper classmen and only seven returners to the squad this year South Fork will need its seven freshmen to step up to the challenge of varsity play if they are to find a way to the post-season in 2013.
The 2012 all-county goalie and co-captain Kathy Petersen will be a big part of team leadership. Petersen had an outstanding game Wednesday, with seven saves and an impressive command of her penalty box to thwart Fort Bragg’s offense.
Playing in the central midfield for the Cubs was sophomore Ashleigh Harrison and freshmen Amy Lawrence, Alea Ahola and Noelia Alatorre. Freshmen Sophie Depew, Raya Mahony and Salomon took turns running the wings, and Van Meter played striker.
This week the Cubs will travel to McKinleyville on Wednesday for their Humboldt Del Norte Conference opener and then will head to Calistoga for a round robin against Calisotga and Middletown. Calistoga was the team that beat the Cubs 1-0 last year, scoring in the closing minutes of the first round section play-off and Middletown was last year’s section champion.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZULIE BLAIR
1. Kathy Petersen taking a goal kick with Kennedy Burnett in the background.
2. Neida Alatorre holding off a Fort Bragg attacker.