With just two seniors on their roster this spring, it was always going to be difficult for the Davis High girls soccer team to repeat their success of 2013, when they finished as Sac-Joaquin Section runners-up, losing on penalties to Franklin in the finals.
Despite a first-round exit from the playoffs on Tuesday, the young Blue Devil team finished 15-3-3 in the regular season, scoring 71 goals while allowing just 14.
“I think not advancing in the playoffs was a disappointment, but overall, throughout league and all of our preseason games, I would say that generally I was pretty happy,” said third-year DHS coach Sara Stone.
“I think there is a lot of speculation from the outside, thinking that this is going to be a young team, but even the girls on the team are totally aware of their surroundings. I think the young players on the team did well.”
Ten of the 11 starters in the Devils’ 2-1 playoff loss at McClatchy are eligible to return next year. Five of those players are either freshmen or sophomores.
“It’s nice to know that you have players that can play with that ability at a young age, but who are also able to stay around to keep the tradition going,” Stone added. “A year is a long time. For a player to play for an entire year (before coming back) makes me excited.”
Offensively, Davis was led by junior Sophia Hernandez with 19 goals, while freshman Julia Curtis put in 17.
Sophomore Gaby Herrera, who played center back, center midfield and forward, depending on the situation, also contributed 11 Blue Devil goals.
Allowing less than a goal per game, DHS also was impressive defensively, with senior Brooke Palmer the mainstay in a physical unit.
Renee Schuman, Olivia Haass, Makenna Rubenstein, Claire Bulman, Kasey Carlson and freshman Josie Baca all contributed to a rotating back line that bottled up the majority of teams the Devils faced.
“(Next year) they’ll all come in knowing my expectations,” Stone said about the plethora of young, returning talent Davis has. “They’ll all come in having played together before.”
— Reach Evan Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam