SHINGLE SPRINGS — In Wednesday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Division ll girls soccer playoff semifinals, Ponderosa blanked visiting Tracy 1-0 to earn a berth in Saturday’s section title game.
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The Lady Bruins return to the finals for the first time since 2008. Their opponent is Bella Vista who’ll they meet at Cosumnes Oaks at 2 p.m.
Sydney Rivera started the Ponderosa momentum moving with a corner kick from the right that was punched out by the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper. Several additional shots were made by the Bruins offense but Tracy continued to challenge as both teams played to a scoreless draw at the half.
In the second half, Tracy came out with a burst of energy, forcing Ponderosa senior keeper Jenna Hufford to successfully defend several early shots. The Bruins quickly swung the momentum in their favor in attempting three shots in the next 10 minutes with the third finding the net.
With a foul in the box against Tracy, Ponderosa’s senior captain, Corinne Tank took the shot to the far left corner but Tracy’s keeper anticipated the direction and deflecting the ball back into play on a diving save. Tank’s persistence paid off as she resent the deflection back into the left corner for the only goal of the match.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity of a ‘redo’ from two years ago at the playoffs and was focused on finding the left corner and couldn’t give up,” Tank said.
The intensity of the game continued with more aggressive plays and tackles to make it one of the toughest the Bruins have played all season. Ponderosa’s solid defense held off the Bulldogs who were unable to get on the scoreboard.
“We are very excited to be in the finals as this will be Ponderosa’s seventh section appearance in the girls’ program,” Ponderosa coach Greg Spangler said.