Western Sierra reaches championship for first time

Wolves fall to Bradshaw in final
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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The Western Sierra Collegiate Academy girls soccer program set new records and standards this season by reaching the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship match.

The Wolves had to go up against reigning section champion Bradshaw Christian and experience won out 4-0. Still it was a great season for the academy’s soccer program.

After winning the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League with an 8-1-0 (17-2-1 overall) record, the Wolves were bumped up to Division VI. The academy also scored 81 goals during the regular season and limited their opponents to eight.

“The key to our overall success has been a balance of some lockdown defense with a high-octane offense that is hard to stop,” said Western Sierra co-head coach Scott Crosson. “The composure play and intensity of our midfield players also helps us control the pace of the game. On top of this balance, we have one of the best goalkeepers in the section.”

The Wolves’ Lindsay Lucas was the SMAL’s No. 1 goalkeeper with 113 saves this season. The No. 2 goalie had 30.

Western Sierra 0 (4pk), Amador 0 (1pk)

For the first time, WSCA emerged with a victory in a semifinal match.

The clubs entered the contest knowing it was the final stop on the way to the finals. Both used stifling defenses and neither could penetrate the other’s goal after 100 minutes of soccer.

Crosson praised the defensive play of Carina Lim and Abby Griswold, but the game then reached a penalty-kick showdown.

Lim was among the five players picked by the Wolves to participate in the shootout and the junior did not disappoint. Now tied 1-1, Michaela Bodie struck pay dirt and Lucas stopped the Buffaloes’ next two attempts, while Izzy James’ kick gave Western Sierra a 3-1 lead with two PKs left.

That put a bit of weight on the shoulders of Kailee Truong, who never wavered in putting her shot in the corner of the goal for the win.

Western Sierra 2, Bret Harte 0

Entering the second half knotted 0-0, the Wolves leading assist player, Paige Carter, made a cross to Bodie for the winning goal. James followed with an insurance goal 10 minutes later and the Wolves were on to the semifinals.

“As coaches, we couldn't be prouder of these girls. They are all amazing and have worked very hard to get to this point,” said Crosson, adding the sentiments of co-coach Gabriella Crosson. “It has been a true full-team effort.  The integrity and sportsmanship in how they conduct themselves in an intense sport are what we are most proud of.”

Scott Crosson said it was an honor to play in the section championship for the first time.