With its undefeated soccer season on the line, the Davis High girls junior varsity team came through with two critical second-half goals to seal a 2-1 comeback victory over Elk Grove on Monday at home.
The Blue Devils (15-0-1, 5-0 in league) dominated play throughout, but could not find the range early (despite 15 first-half shots). The Thundering Herd keeper was outstanding, according to DHS coach Robert Smith.
Meanwhile, Elk Grove made the Devils pay for a communication breakdown when a Herd forward reached the ball just ahead of charging DHS goalie Chris Roeckl-Navasio, then fired a shot into an open net for 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless first half, Davis finally broke through in the second period when defensive midfielder Marin Garcia collected a loose ball outside the box and sent in a rocket from 25 yards that swerved into the far side of the goal.
Then, with time running down, Makenna Rubinstein received a pass from midfield near the top of the box, created shooting space with some great moves and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper for the 2-1 victory. The game was close despite the locals outshooting EGHS, 29-1.
In other Delta Valley Conference games last week, the Blue Devils crushed Grant, 14-0, on Thursday and won 6-0 at Monterey Trail on April 10.
Against the Pacers, Katie Grahn opened the scoring deluge off an assist from Bhavna Kodira, and Clair Buhlman’s strong free kick found Rubinstein in the box for a deft half-volley to make it 2-0. The next goal — by Buhlman, who finished with a hat trick and two assists — was an impressive free kick laser from 35 yards out. Buhlman’s other two goals came in the second half after moving up to forward from her center back position (one came off a perfect feed from Hannah Deknikker).
Grahn, with a touch off a corner kick from Annie Leck, and Rubinstein, who tallied off a Brooke Rosenblum assist, each scored their second goals before intermission.
Also in the first half, Emily Torbert set up Elsa Iverson with a layoff pass, which Iverson buried from 12 yards and Jordan Callahan made it 7-0 with a rifle shot from the right side off an assist from Garcia.
Jodie Stroeve, Kasey Carlson, Melissa Teuber and Alex Diaz added Devil goals in the second half and the goalfest ended with Megan Klisiewicz scoring her first of the season.
At Monterey Trail, Smith said DHS was “a little off target, especially in the first half.”
The locals did manage to score early in the first period when Torbert laid a pass back to Mackenzie Quick, who finished with a bouncing ball that eluded the Mustang keeper.
That was the only tally for Davis in the first half — despite almost 30 attempts — but the second period proved more productive …
Alexis Olmedo got things started with a one-touch tally, Teuber found Iverson for another goal then Diaz worked hard to deliver a strong, low cross that found the feet of Torbert before heading to the back of the net.
Later, Rubinstein took advantage of a missed clearance in the box by the Mustangs and punched it home from six yards out and the final goal came on a perfectly executed corner kick by Buhlman and header finish by Grahn.