Whitney’s freshmen hold the line against Roseville

‘Cats earn a 2-1 victory
By: Jeremy McDonald for The Placer Herald
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After giving up an early goal to Roseville in the opening minutes of a girls soccer match at Whitney, goalkeeper Cheyenne Foster shut down the Tigers’ offense; that helped set up the Wildcats’ offense to earn a 2-1 victory last week.

“It was really exciting,” Foster said. “It was really good. We really needed to score and keep going because once we start rolling, energy keeps pumping and keep going for another one.”

Roseville’s Emily McFadyen broke through the famed 4-5-1 ‘Cats’ defense for a fifth-minute goal. She got her shot to go off the back post and fall through.

But, that would be all she wrote for the Roseville offense and eventually set up Whitney’s Shailyn Valenzano for a goal in the 23rd minute. Whitney improved to 4-7-2 in Capital Valley Conference play.

Foster saved two goals in the opening half, as the youthful backline held off a Tigers’ charge that stretched into the second half. Whitney’s relentless defense gave the offense confidence to drive downfield for the go-ahead goal.

With 18 minutes to go, Valenzano set up Alyssa Rapisura for a goal and deciding 2-1 advantage.

Roseville began to feel the frustration and let their anger get the best of them.

“Oh definitely,” said the Tigers’ Tahnee Smith. “Just trying so hard and not getting the outcome you wanted, it gets to your head.”

Reader got a yellow card with 10 minutes to go. A few Bengals were also whistled for fouls, as they pressured Foster and the freshman backline of Whitney to try and gain a tie.

“Stay tight,” said Foster on the Wildcats’ plan. “Keep my feet as much as I can, keep them moving. Keep the defense tight, drop back and play defense.”

Wildcats’ head coach Ana Jones was impressed by how her young players handled Roseville’s frustrations.

“My freshman, I’ve got to give it to them,” Jones said. “They get all banged up and they bounce right back up and then they go fight.” 

And the four young ‘Cats held fast and got the ball to their midfielders to go on the attack and seal the victory.

“Sometimes you’re not rewarded,” said Roseville head coach Paul Stewart. “The hard work just doesn’t always pay off. Soccer’s a funny game. Sometimes you’re up high, other times you’re down low.”

The loss left the Tigers in a tie with Ponderosa at 6-4-3.