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Eye of the Tiger

SOCCER: Varsity girls defeat Granite Bay

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(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

KEEGAN NESS and JAMIE BATEMAN

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The varsity girls soccer team continued its impressive playoff run with a 3-0 win against Granite Bay yesterday afternoon in the Sac-Joaquin Section semi-finals. With the win against the third seeded Grizzlies, the Tigers advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game on Saturday against their Capital Valley Conference rival, the Whitney Wildcats.  

Two first half goals from sophomore Mackenzie Gill put the Tigers in a good spot going into the second half against the Grizzlies. Her first goal was a strike from about 30 yards out from the left side, giving the keeper no chance. Less than 10 minutes later, Gill converted a penalty kick to put the Tigers up 2-0.

With under twenty minutes to go in the second half, senior forward Jessica VanDerHaegen drilled a shot from the top of the box and forced the Grizzly goalkeeper to make a save. Sophomore forward Kelsey Gill was the first to react after the keeper batted the ball away and headed in the third goal for the Tigers. Coach Paul Stewart was happy too see the game out once they put themselves up three goals.

Kelsey Gill is excited about the position the Tigers are in heading into the section final.

“I thought it was cool that we, first of all, got here to the semis, which is better than last year, and that’s always our goal; to do better than last year,” Kelsey Gill said.

The Grizzlies were unsuccessful in scoring despite hitting the crossbar in the second half, leading to the Tigers’ shutout win. Because of the win, they will play in their first section championship game since 2010 against Whitney at 4 p.m. at Elk Grove High School.

Both teams had different routes to the championship. Roseville had to go on the road and upset second-seeded Vacaville and third-seeded Granite Bay while Whitney played host to 13th-seeded Inderkum, fifth-seeded Bear Creek and ninth-seeded Cosumnes Oaks. Both have looked equally as dominant as they have only surrendered two goals each in the playoffs thus far. However, Roseville has been more dominant offensively, outscoring Whitney 9-6.  

The Tigers and Wildcats aren’t new to each other. As CVC rivals, they played twice this season, splitting the series at one game a piece. The Wildcats lost the first outing, as a goal from sophomore Mackenzie Gill led the Tigers to a 1-0 win. The second game saw the Tiger defense collapse, as they gave up three goals in a 3-0 losing effort.

Despite splitting the series, Whitney was the only team to top Roseville in the overall CVC standings and were crowned the outright CVC champions.

Besides the season split, the teams were also remarkably similar in both their defensive and offensive productions. The Tigers were able to score 43 goals while the Wildcats managed to score seven more with 50. The Tiger defense only surrendered 17 goals, which is seven better  than the Wildcats’ 24, meaning that the Tigers and Wildcats completed the same season with the same goal differential.

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