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Thunder fall to rival Roseville in section finals in soccer

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Roseville High’s girls soccer team topped the Thunder 2-1 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II championship on Saturday evening at Folsom High. Roseville freshman Paige Crouch scored her second goal of the match with 11:30 remaining in the second half. This put the Tigers up 2-1. Crouch juked a Rocklin defender, setting up a 1-on-1 opportunity with Rocklin goalie Melanie Bertrand. She scored from about 10 yards out. “She’s tough to handle on a big field,” said Rocklin coach Paul Morrison of Crouch. Crouch’s first goal put Roseville up 1-0 just one minute into the match, as she blasted the ball into the left corner of the Rocklin goal from close range. Rocklin tied the match 1-1 with about 5:30 remaining in the first half. The score was set-up by a corner kick from Thunder junior Rachel Spaulding. The ball bounced around in front of the net and was eventually deflected in by Rocklin’s Rebekah Anderson. Rocklin nearly added another goal in the final seconds of the first half as Mikayla Clifford got off a good shot after another solid corner kick by Spaulding. “Absolutely – 100 percent,” said Morrison about if this was the type of match that he expected against Roseville. “They gave us some trouble in the midfield early. We gave them too much space and when you allow a player with speed the ability to turn around with the ball at midfield – they can hurt you.” Roseville (15-3-4) won the Sierra Foothill League this season while Rocklin (12-5-6) was the No. 2 seed from the SFL. The teams played twice prior to Saturday, with Roseville winning 3-1 and then the team tying 2-2. Saturday’s loss was Rocklin’s first defeat in two months as Roseville beat Rocklin 3-1 on March 23. Morrison called up freshmen Michelle Tran and Shannon Garvella to the varsity after that loss and the duo have made a strong impact for the Thunder even since. “Youth and exuberance,” said Morrison about what sticks about this year’s team. “We only had three seniors . . . we had a lot of younger players making an impact.” Pablo Gutierrez has coached the Roseville girls for 24 years and this was his first section title with the team.