There would be no Cinderella story for Vallejo on Tuesday night as the Sac-Joaquin Section girls soccer tournament began at Yudin Field.
Davis High used a dominant offensive show to emphatically crush the visiting Apaches, 8-0, to advance to the next round of the SJS playoffs.
The Blue Devils wasted no time, taking control early when Kylie Tierney stole the ball from a Vallejo player and immediately sent it to Gaby Herrera. The DHS freshman turned and played a ball through a gaping hole in the Apache defense. There, a waiting Renee Schumann utilized her cat-like quickness and crossed back to a flying Herrera, who handily put the ball in the back of the net to give the Devils a 1-0 lead just 48 seconds in.
Five minutes later, Megan Casey found Schumann with a pass after an Apache turnover. In a bit of déjà vu, Schumman again crossed from the right flank to a streaking Sophia Hernandez, who one-timed the ball toward the net. Though the VHS goalie managed a save, she coughed the ball up and Hernandez finished her first of four goals on the night.
Later, after a failed clearance by the Apaches, Casey found herself alone on the right side of the field. The senior used her strong right foot to drop dimes in the middle of the field to forwards all game long, but this time Casey surgically placed a shot in the top left corner from 28 yards out.
With the locals leading 3-0 just before intermission, Clara Goin, who finished with two assists, played a slicing ball to Natalie Ho, setting up a one-on-one with the Vallejo goalie. The keeper slid to try and block Ho’s shot, but was unable to hold on to the ball. A trailing Schumann easily put it away to make it 4-0 and add a goal to her two first-half assists.
“Renee is just peaking at the right time,” said Davis coach Sara Stone. “She started the season slow. She’s peaking late in the season which is fine with us; our goal is to end strong and that’s where we’re at right now. She has incredible speed, she’s incredibly athletic, and she’s dangerous on the wing.”
The Blue Devils carried their explosive offensive performance into the second half.
Goin again played a ball on a dime, finding the speedy Hernandez in stride. Hernandez flew by the nearest defender and finished to the far post, putting DHS up 5-0.
After Jenna Farboud put on a display of skill by beating two Apache defenders, she found a waiting Goin in the midfield. Goin again played a slicing ball to Hernandez, who finished the opportunity and sealed a hat trick in her first playoff game.
But Hernandez was still hungry …
Brooke Palmer received the ball from Schumann in the corner, then swung a cross into the middle, where it found the foot of Hernandez, who volleyed the ball past the goalkeeper.
“Sophia’s a creative player,” Stone said. “She’s very offensive. She’s quick and creative to goal. Sometimes there’s certain games where the rhythm just works and she’s able to get it into the back of the net, and (Tuesday) was one of those days.”
A Meghan Murphy tally closed out Blue Devil scoring.
The Apaches crossed midfield only nine times throughout the second half, a testament to Davis’ offensive balance.
“It’s important going forward that we continue to have good shape and good tactics,” Stone added. “We’re making good decisions: playing the width as well recognizing when to combine, when to go (one-on-one), when to put up a cross and so forth. It’s coming together at the right time.”
Notes: The Devils fired 41 shots on goal. … DHS’ dominating performance came despite the absence of two starters, Emily Gao (muscle strain) and Kalani Ratnasiri (illness). … In the next round, the Devils will play Granite Bay — a 3-1 winner over Turlock on Tuesday — at home Thursday on Yudin Field. Davis High officials expect the game to start at 7 p.m.