Del Oro nips Woodcreek in SFL girls soccer opener

By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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LOOMIS — Pouring rain and rough defensive play was an excellent forecast for Sierra Foothill League competition in girls soccer this season.

“All of them are tough,” Woodcreek High School coach Mark Bowman said. “The SFL is one of the toughest leagues around. It’s just a battle every game. The preseason records don’t mean anything. It’s how the game is played. Any team could come out on fire, and any team could go in a slump.”

Bowman’s Timberwolves lost to Del Oro 1-0 on the Golden Eagles’ soaked field Tuesday night.

Camilla Ahlquist’s breakaway goal early in the first half was the only ball-in-net moment. Ahlquist collected a crossing pass and bolted along the sideline. She outran Woodcreek defenders and slipped the ball past the goalie.

From there on, it was a rough battle with frequent shoving, sliding and midfield play.

“We never really got to challenge them that much,” Bowman said. “They’re a well-coached team. We couldn’t put any kind of an attack together.”

The second half included more missed opportunities on both sides. Woodcreek sophomore Jessica Sawchuck nailed a nice corner kick that provided a scoring chance, but several forwards couldn’t reach the ball before it sailed out of bounds.

Jordan McDaniel of Del Oro (3-3 overall, 1-0 SFL) nailed the crossbar near the far post late in the match, and on another play, she almost connected with Alex Jenkins on a nice crossing pass, but Jenkins was unable to reach the ball in time.

Last season’s Timberwolves won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II crown and then waved goodbye to graduating talent. Bowman now finds himself with a young team, and a wounded one at that. Much of his team was either nursing the flu or injured.

“We lost a lot of experience and some leadership,” Bowman said. “We’re a young team, and we’re just trying to find our way. Half my team is in street clothes, so we’re just trying to make due with what we can.”

Earning another chance at a section crown is still the main goal for Woodcreek (4-5-1, 0-1).

“This is just one (SFL) game out of 10,” Bowman said. “There were a lot of jitters (Tuesday night), and a lot of new players that are stepping into new roles just weren’t sure of themselves yet.”

Roseville 1, Granite Bay 0 — Haylee Evans scored the only goal as the Tigers (4-2, 1-0) left Granite Bay (1-4-1, 0-1) with a victory in an SFL opener.