Ken Hashimoto got his first goal of the season as the Davis High boys soccer team went on the road to beat Elk Grove, 2-0, on Thursday, clinching an undefeated Delta Valley Conference season.
In getting prepared for their Sac-Joaquin Section title defense, which begins next week, the Blue Devils (21-4-5, 7-0-3) had a chance to get their stars a little rest and try some players at some different positions.
“It was a good ending to the (regular) season,” Devil coach Alex Park said. “We finished undefeated in league and we’re very happy about that. Now we look forward to getting rested and ready to compete for a section championship.”
Cameron Cuvelier added the second goal for Davis on Thursday, while Paul Hinton made a string contribution to the victory. The Blue Devils are still waiting to find out who and where they will play as the section tournament begins Tuesday.
Much like the Delta Valley Conference singles championships — won by Blue Devil Inés Guinard — the league’s doubles tournament ended with an All-DHS final matchup.
But on Thursday, the two local doubles teams couldn’t have taken more different routes to the championship contest.
The top seed — and eventual winning duo — of Kailyn Yang and Ceci Cajandig got a bye, then won its quarterfinal and semifinal matches, 6-0, 6-0.
Meanwhile, DHS’ other squad of Kelly Chuck and Bailey Gary won two 6-0, 6-0 matches until running into the No. 2 seed — from Elk Grove — in the semis.
The first two sets both needed extra games to be decided before the Devils finally prevailed, 7-5, 6-7, (10-6).
“The Elk Grove team consisted of their No. 2 and No. 3 singles players so, on paper, Elk Grove should have won,” said Davis coach Sally Hosley. “But I knew Kelly and Bailey had the goods to win. They have such great communication and chemistry on the tennis court which comes from their 15-year friendship, and they are both phenomenal athletes.”
The win set up a matchup against Yang and Cajandig with the top-seeded duo winning, 6-1, 6-2. Both teams, as well as Guinard and singles standout Cat Paw U, will head next to the Sac-Joaquin Section individual championships next Thursday at Johnson Ranch.
DHS’ Megan Ewens and Eliana Jolkovsky also participated in Thursday DVC doubles tourney, falling in the first round.
The Blue Devils won 11-10 at Rio Americano on Thursday, but they needed every bit of the two overtime periods to get it done.
In a game that was within one or two goals for most of the way, the Raider tied things up at 8-8 late in the fourth period. The two teams then played two extra periods, with DHS’ Conrad McCarthy finding the net in the second three-minute OT to clinch the victory.
The Devils (17-6) got three goals from McCarthy and four from Connor Stapleton — two of which came in the first extra session — but it was the Davis bench that keyed the victory.
“This was a tough game,” said Blue Devil coach Tracy Stapleton. “We lost two of our starters — Tyler Ujifusa and Garrett Fisk — to fouls early in the fourth. Furthermore, one of those starters picked up his first two fouls in the first (period) so our reserves had to play big minutes.
“Reserves Sam Burke, Zac Anderson, Valente Dolcini and Chad Prizmich played a valuable role in the win.”
Brad Nicholson added a pair of goals for the locals, Graham Fullerton scored once and Fisk was able to tally in limited minutes.
It was far from easy on Thursday at Rio Americano, and for a while it didn’t look like it was going to happen. But the Blue Devils used a clutch fourth-quarter performance to come from behind and post an 11-9 win over the Raiders, DHS’ 20th victory of the season.
At 20-4, the Devils have now won 20 games in 16 of the past 17 seasons.
Early on, things looked bleak as Rio took a 7-3 advantage in the middle of the third period, and led 8-5 heading into the fourth quarter.
“They were really giving it to us,” said Davis coach Doug Wright. “I told (the Blue Devils before the fourth period) ‘we can still win this game, we have enough offense.’ And we came out strong … scored two goals in the first 53 seconds.”
In all, DHS outscored its hosts 6-1 in the final quarter, beating a team that will contend for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title. Goals came from Mara Dominguez (four), Lauren Owens (three), Katie Van Deynze (two), Heather Johnson and Colby Stapleton.
“This was a good wake-up call,” Wright added. “But it was good for our group to have to go through adversity. Now, if we get down at sections — which could happen easily — we know we can come back.”
The Davis Rugby Club is creating high school varsity and JV rugby teams for boys in grades nine through 12. Interested athletes and parents should attend an informational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.
Practices will begin in late November, with games starting in January.
Rugby, a sport that is getting big in Northern California, is a played by kids of all shapes and sizes, and no experience is necessary. Safety is emphasized by the coaching staff, which is headed by former UC Davis rugby coach Steve Gray and includes Andy Malpass, another former Aggie mentor.
For more information, call Gray at 530-756-9111 or Mike Goodison at 530-758-6761.
High school girls interested in playing for the Lady Blue Devil rugby team can contact coach Jordan Apodaca at firstname.lastname@example.org.