The St. Joseph Knights kicked off their girls soccer season in style with a 3-0 victory over Cabrillo Tuesday night in a non-league match at Jay Will Stadium in Orcutt.
The Knights’ Corby Burress scored twice and Blanca Diaz once while freshman goal keeper Analea Pule made eight save in her varsity debut.
“That block Analea made at the beginning of the game was awesome,” said St. Joseph head coach Al Garcia. “It was good to see her get a shutout in her first game as a varsity player.”
“There’s not much you can do when you give 6 (Burress) so much room,” said Cabrillo head coach Derrick Wong. “But as a whole, I am happy with our performance. I wasn’t expecting us to be this good this quickly after we lost half our team from last year to graduation.”
The Conqs were the aggressors from the start but the Knights were given an early boost when Pule stopped a point-blank shot about three minutes into the game.
“She gave up her body on that one,” said Garcia. “She just got in front of the ball and smothered it.”
It took the Knights nearly 20 minutes of the 40 minute first half before Burress got St. Joseph’s first good scoring opportunity. Her shot was blocked by Cabrillo’s junior keeper Morgan Christian.
“They played a physical game,” said Garcia. “I think they thought they could take us out of our game but we were able to adjust and get back to playi9ng our style of ball.”
But that got the Knights’ offense on track and St. Joseph began pressing the attack.
Burress quickly got off another shot — this one went over the net.
The Knights had four more chances — one of them with Christian way out of the box near the visitor’s sideline — but couldn’t capitalize until Paige Huguenard found Burress in the middle of the field, 10 yards out, and Burress rocketed the ball over Christian’s outstretched arms for the game’s first score with 13:44 left in the first half.
The goal energized the Knights who continued pressing the attack, getting off another half dozen shots, although none made it past Christian, before intermission.
The Knights kept the pressure on in the second half.
In one typical sequence, The Knights inbounded the ball with a corner kick that went to Braidyn Cossa who passed it out to Ryane Cash. Cash then rifled the ball toward the goal but it was too high by inches.
St. Joseph took the first seven shots of the half — the seventh put the Knights up 2-0 when Cash sent a 40-yard pass into a crowd in front of the net that Diaz headed past Christian with 21:50 left in the game.
The Knights put the game on ice when Burress took a shot from 25-yards out that went over Christian’s head with just under two minutes to go for an unassisted goal and a 3-0 lead.
“Corby is going to be a wrecking ball and Blanca played another great game,” said Garcia. “They all played a really great game — Laura Chartier was great in the backfield along with Amaya Hernandez and Nikki Cervantes. Brayden and Paige outhustled Cabrillo on the wings, Ryane was all over the place — really, the whole team played great tonight.”
“They’ve got a lot of seniors on that team who have played together for four years,” said Wong. “This was our first real chance to evaluate what kind of team we had. We got to see what we wanted and know what we want to build on.”
Cabrillo is back in action Thursday at Arroyo Grande then plays at a tournament at Granite Hills over the weekend.
St. Joseph plays at Lompoc on Thursday.
Providence 67, Valley Christian Academy 43
Valley Christian Academy got off to a rocky start to its boys’ basketball season, dropping its season opener to Santa Barbara’s Providence High School.
Isak Deming led VCA with 13 points. Jamin Magness added 7, Andrew Sparlin 6 and Jonathan Mussack 5. Kiernan Quinones, Jared Moore and Ethan McCoy each had 4 points.
VCA (0-1) plays at Frazier Mountain Thursday.