Want to know why the Summerville High School girls' soccer team is the prohibitive favorite to win its third straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship?
Jordan Vermillion, Jordan Vermillion, Jordan Vermillion.
The Bears' junior forward, who won her second straight Mother Lode League Offensive Player of the Year award on Wednesday, broke a scoreless tie against Hughson in yesterday's Division IV semifinal playoff game at Thorsted Field in Tuolumne with three goals in a 14-minute span, leading Summerville (23-1-2) to a 3-0 victory and a berth in tomorrow's section championship game against MLL archrival Bret Harte.
Much like Summerville's 4-2 overtime thriller against Hughson (15-4-3) in last year's semifinal, the Bears once again struggled early offensively, but found the mark late in the game.
Summerville controlled the pace at the outset, testing Hughson goale Brandi Young with 10 shots in the first 20 minutes, but came away with nothing.
"The game evened out the remainder of the first half as we couldn't keep up the shooting pace," Summerville coach Jim Frazier said. "At that point, I had some concern that the missed opportunities would come back to haunt us.
"But once Jordan finally got a shot into the net, it energized the team and we controlled much of the game until the end."
The game remained scoreless for the first 23 minutes of the second half, then Vermillion's offensive prowess shone through.
At the 63-minute mark, Vermillion took a centering pass from Kadi Davies, drifted 15 yards to the left of the goal and drilled a low line drive past Young into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 Summerville lead.
Six minutes later, center halfback Ashley Rice had the ball 18 yards in front of the Hughson goal with her back to the net. Rice sent a lateral pass to her left to Megan Reynolds, who quickly redirected the ball to a streaking Vermillion. Vermillion tapped in a shot into the right corner, giving Summerville an insurance goal and a 2-0 advantage.