The Davis High girls soccer team was 12 minutes into Thursday night’s game with visiting Grant and — despite six shots, three corner kicks and a 90-percent possession advantage — had nothing to show for its toil.
It wasn’t until 13:04 that the Pacers touched the ball in the attack zone. Three more Blue Devil shots and two corners in the 15th minute netted zip for DHS.
At 16:30, a Kalani Ratnasiri corner kick began a chain reaction in front of besieged Grant goalie Dianna Balderas. Four more lunges goalward meant three Balderas deflections before the Devils finally kicked the ball out of bounds.
Suddenly Jenna Farboud, the senior captain defender, fudged forward from her back-wall position. Intercepting a Pacer pass, Farboud immediately found Gabriela Herrera alone in the middle, 12 yards from goal.
The freshman collected the ball, turned and fired. Finally, 1-0 Davis!
After that, Blue Devils goals fell like Pennies from Heaven on this perfect spring night. Eventually, DHS would prevail, 9-0.
Herrera almost immediately returned the favor to Farboud off a set piece right of goal. Herrera’s pass allowed Farboud to flick the ball home, making it 2-0 at 25:12.
Ratnasiri tallied 10 minutes later, then DHS lowered the boom just before intermission.
First, Devil back Brooke Palmer crushed a rocket from beyond 20 yards. Next, Sophia Hernandez’s brilliant corner serve found Natalie Ho for a header score and Hernandez got her own goal off of a succinct feed from defender Kylie Tierney.
Just like that Davis (11-4-1, 3-1 in league) found itself rolling, up 6-0 as halftime arrived.
“(Thursday) was an opportunity for everyone to get a chance to play … get a lot of minutes and get some momentum heading into next week when we play Elk Grove and Franklin,” Blue Devil coach Sara Stone said after her entire roster saw healthy playing time — and some got a shot at different positions.
For instance, Tierney and Farboud — “play-anywhere” standouts, according to Stone — saw extended action up front as Grant offered just six touches and one unrequited run into DHS territory.
“I can see how playing back there can get a little dull,” the coach continued. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to do something different. They are both very talented.”
With Farboud already the owner of a goal and an assist, Tierney’s tally came at 41:58 when she corralled a loose ball and swiveled to connect on a left-footed blast from 15 yards away.
Herrera’s second goal (51:16) made things 8-0 before Makenzie Delaughder — off a brilliant serve from Hernandez — wrapped up the night’s net-finding.
The Devils outshot their guests 42-0. They had 13 corner kicks and, while keeping a clean slate, didn’t allowed either Madison MacKenzie or Maddy Purves to break a sweat in goal.
On the flipside, Grant’s Balderas did all she could to keep the score from escalating even farther afield.
Balderas had 11 saves before being carried off the field with a leg injury in the game’s 67th minute.
Pacer Ekone Njenge began the night at sweeper, but late in the contest went to forward. It was a move that, thanks to Njenge’s speed, allowed Grant to make its only run toward goal. Njenge’s centering pass found no one home and MacKenzie squeezed the harmless pass.
Next up for DHS is a Monday contest with Elk Grove and a crucial Wednesday encounter with front-running Franklin. The Wildcats beat the Blue Devils, 1-0, in the DVC opener. Both games are in Davis at 4 p.m.
Grant is now 3-8-2, 0-3-1.
“The girls are working hard and we’re just trying to tune things up coming into the big week against Elk Grove and Franklin,” Stone added. “I think we’re good.”
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.