If the Davis High field hockey team opened Wednesday’s game against River Valley with one eye on Friday’s Eastern Athletic League showdown with Chico, all of the Blue Devils’ focus was quickly turned to the visiting Falcons.
RV went toe-to-toe with DHS for the first 10 minutes before two quick goals from Devil junior Rachel Foley opened the floodgates. When the offensive onslaught finally ended, Davis was a 10-0 winner.
“River Valley came out strong for the first 10 minutes. It kind of worried me that we weren’t going to be able to control the game as we anticipated,” Blue Devil head coach Sandie Marotti-Huckins said after her team improved to 10-1-1 overall and 8-1 in EAL play.
“Even though the score got up there, we did a lot of things well. They weren’t cheap goals; they were all off well-placed passes and things we had been working on.”
Senior Natalie Silver set up the first goal with a slick pass from the right side that found Foley wide open. Sophomore Hannah Denton fed Foley for the second tally less than a minute later, then Whitney Sacramento got into the act for the first of several times on the night.
The sophomore assisted on a Sara Pinto score that made it 3-0 with 13:34 to play, then scored the next two goals, the second off a pass from Olivia Haas.
“We made really good passes, we all connected well and we all had our heads in the game,” said Sacramento, who finished her huge night with four goals and an assist. “I got really nice passes in the circle. My teammates would bring it down the sideline and cross it in, and I was just there to finish it.”
One of those nice passes went from Brooke Marigo, a junior, to Haas just before halftime as the locals took a 6-0 lead into intermission.
After the break, Pinto, a senior, notched her second goal, Sacramento had two more — one off an assist from senior Kelly Ragsdale — and 12th-grader Liz Leshuk rattled the back of the cage.
The 10-goal outburst perfectly showcased the strong offensive play that DHS knows it will need on Friday, when Chico comes to town. Nearly every year, the two teams find themselves battling for first place in the EAL, and this season is no different.
“I think we are ready,” Marotti-Huckins said. “If we can move the goalie and shoot far post … we are going to be fine. (Chico’s Gaby Banathy) is a very good goalie … anything coming right at her or in the air she’s going to stop. We know her because she plays club with us.”
The Devils will wear special jerseys Friday as part of the second annual Stick It 2 Cancer Game, with all proceeds going to that cause.
“I’m so excited. All the proceeds go to cancer research and it’s Chico, which is one of our big rivals … so we really want to win,” Sacramento explained.
With the fundraising aspect in mind, and their biggest rival coming to Brown Stadium, Davis is hoping to set a new record for attendance on Friday night. The JV match begins at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity sticks hit the turf at 7 p.m.
We don’t get a lot of people at field hockey games so we are hoping to get some support Friday night,” Marotti-Huckins said. “The girls work really hard and are one of the best teams in Northern California.”
— Reach Chris Saur at [email protected] or 530-747-8047. Follow him on Twitter at @CSaurDEsports