ELK GROVE — Anna Gregg’s first-half goal stood as St. Francis denied Oak Ridge’s title hopes with Saturday’s 1-0 win at Cosumnes High for the Division I championship in the all-Delta River League final.
The Troubadour’s bend-don’t-break defense survived numerous Trojan chances. Alone, Oak Ridge lined up for nine corner kicks and relentlessly crashed the goal on each. Other set pieces showed promise but the end result was nada, zip, zilch.
“I can’t fault the effort … we didn’t play great but we fought hard,” Trojan coach Joe Champion said. ” It was one of those things — everything was just a little too hard, too long or not hard enough or too short … or a bounce we thought we’d get they did.”
Oak Ridge’s defense led by Caira Woo, Lauren Whited, Gretchen Goyette and keeper Nina Grimes contained Gregg, the league’s scoring leader who shares the Co-Player of the Year with Oak Ridge’s Hannah Miller. But an entry pass Troy failed to stop found Gregg for a quick trap, turn and glancing rocket off the far post.
The Trojans countered with Hannah, Miranda Miller, Brenna Palmer, Anna Lippuner, Julia Crawford, Rachel Ribeiro and Marissa Ribiero and held possession on the St. Francis side a large part of the game.
Twice, Marissa’s crossing passes to Hannah late in the first half were near-equalizers as was one to open the second that saw Hannah hit the near post. Despite Oak Ridge’s sense of urgency, the Troubadours held on for their 13th banner in program history.
“We (offense) were mostly high-pressed, especially at the end trying to get one and capitalize on a mistake,” said Hannah who’ll take her game to Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. “Even though we know each other it was still a battle. Not the best we’ve played but I’m proud of my team.”