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Wildcats blank Dixon in round one

Whitney hosts Sierra on Thursday in rematch of last year’s section final
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Whitney High’s varsity girls soccer team beat visiting Dixon 1-0 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV playoffs on Tuesday. The Wildcats (16-2-2 overall) will host Sierra, the Valley Oak League champion, in a second-round match at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of Thursday’s match will play either Colfax (No. 2 in the Pioneer Valley League) or West Campus (Central Valley Conference champion) in Saturday’s DIV title match. The time and location for Saturday’s championship is yet to be determined. Whitney, which went unbeaten in PVL competition this season, won the DIV section title last year by beating Sierra in the final. “I’ve seen the (Sierra) coach a couple times since we beat them and they are gunning for us,” Whitney coach Rich Donofrio said. “We kind of surprised them and we won’t surprise them this year. They would love nothing more than to beat us.” Tuesday’s victory over Dixon was the first match for Whitney since it beat Colfax 2-0 on May 5 to clinch the league title. Dixon was the No. 3 seed from the Central Valley Conference. Whitney scored about 32 minutes into the match when Marisa Sievers and Elizabeth Grover set up Mary Mae Caldwell for a goal. Whitney controlled the match but had trouble finishing when in position to score. “I didn’t think we had our best game,” Donofrio said. “We were just a little off today I guess. Everybody worked hard and Dixon worked hard . . . It was our first game in two weeks . . . and some days it’s just not your day. It wasn’t our day and we were fortunate to win 1-0. We controlled the tempo and held possession 70-80 percent of the time but we had trouble connecting in the final third (of the field near the Dixon goal). But a win is a win and I’ll take it.”