Woodcreek nips Bella Vista, will play Del Oro in Division II section girls soccer final
High school gym walls are the gathering spot for rows and rows of neatly arranged league and section championship banners, and Woodcreek has several of its own.
But there’s something missing, and coach Mark Bowman and his Timberwolves are one victory away from filling that void.
“There’s nothing on our gym wall that says girls soccer,” Bowman said Thursday following Woodcreek’s 1-0 victory over host Bella Vista (11-5-3) in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals.
Sierra Foothill League champion Del Oro (9-0-7) defeated visiting Casa Roble (15-6-3) 4-0 on Thursday night in the other semifinal. The Timberwolves (12-2-7) and Golden Eagles will play for the championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Cosumnes Oaks in Elk Grove.
Woodcreek and Del Oro have played to 1-1 and 0-0 ties this season.
Bella Vista came out aggressive, and both teams had scoring opportunities. But neither defense — with Woodcreek’s anchored by sophomore Madeline McArthur and sophomore goaltender Alyssa Rushing recording her ninth shutout — would budge.
“Whoever hits it first,” said Bowman, whose 2005 team made it to the quarterfinals.
Lauren Hayano hit it first. She took a pass from sophomore Erien Matsueda and put a low line drive into the corner of the net to the goalie’s left.
“She moves well with the ball,” Bowman said of Matsueda. “She has good vision.”
Timberwolves junior forward Zaessja Madamba had good vision on the goal, too. She was behind Hayano when the senior pumped in her team-high 10th goal of the season.
“My heart stopped,” Madamba said. “It’s really exciting because we’ve never been (to the finals) before.”