STOCKTON — The Ponderosa soccer team kicked off its 2013 campaign with an impressive first-place finish at the St Mary’s California Classic Tournament in Stockton last weekend.
Led by captains Corinne Tank and Alivya Wimmer, the Bruins drew defending section and tournament champion St Mary’s of Stockton as their first opponent. The Bruins scored first when Wimmer stole the ball, ran up the middle and buried a shot just out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Ponderosa extended on a corner kick connection between Ashlynn Johnson and Samantha Fowler.
The Bruins maintained the shutout with stellar play from keeper Alannah John and defenders Melissa Hanson and Brittany Gisin. A second goal by Wimmer late in the second half put the game away, giving the Bruins a 3-0 victory over the favored St Mary’s squad.
The Bruins dominated Lodi in the second game, winning easily 4-0 on goals by Devin Redor, Fowler and Sydney Rivera off a pass from Amanda Maiello. The defense and keeper Alyssa Herrman earned the shutout.
In Saturday’s semifinals against Davis, a serious injury to Ponderosa stopper Jessica Templeton sent the game to added injury time tied at 0-0. The dry spell was finally broken as Rivera assisted Fowler for the one and only goal of the game and a rematch with St. Mary’s.
In the finals, the Bruins came out strong, battling the Rams’ defense along with gusty winds. A goal by Tank assisted by Wimmer gave Ponderosa a 1-0 lead at the half. With 15 minutes left, St Mary’s stepped up the attack but Johnson, McKenna Fox, Redor and Wimmer successfully defended five corner kicks in the final minutes to give Ponderosa their first California Classic tournament championship.
Tournament MVP went to Wimmer and recipients of the prestigious individual awards were presented to John, Maiello, Tank and Templeton. Fowler received the MVP Golden Boot Award (most goals).
Ponderosa 2, Vista del Lago