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Soccer Bears pass first tough test

LINDEN — Senior halfback Ashley Rice scored a goal and recorded two assists as the Summerville High School girls' soccer team kept its perfect record intact by beating Linden 3-1 yesterday.

Rice sandwiched assists to Bridgette Berry at the 20-minute mark, and to Jordan Vermillion at the 79-minute mark, around her own score at the 38-minute mark as the Bears upped their record to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the Mother Lode League.

"Ashley had a breakout game …," Summerville coach Jim Frazier said. "Ashley's been controlling the midfield very well in recent games, and (last night) she added attacking to her resume."

Rice set up Summerville's first goal by dribbling down the right sideline and sending a crossing pass over the middle to a streaking Barry, who punched it home for her first goal of the season and a 1-0 Bears' lead.

Rice then blasted a one-timer through Linden's keeper two minutes before halftime, giving Summerville a 2-0 lead at the break.

Summerville nearly broke the game open in the opening minutes of the second half, but Vermillion and Megan Reynolds were unable to convert breakaway scoring opportunities.

Those missed opportunities allowed Linden to slice Summerville's lead in half with a goal at the 49-minute mark, making the score 2-1.

Vermillion came through with Summerville's insurance goal at the 79-minute mark when she took a lead pass from Rice, outran the Linden defense and put the ball in the lower left-hand corner of the net.

"Linden was definitely one of our best tests of the year, and they're definitely a MLL playoff contender," Frazier said.

The Bears will host Bret Harte (6-2-3, 2-0), perhaps their strongest MLL rival, on Tuesday at Thorsted Field in Tuolumne. Summerville beat the Bullfrogs 2-1 on March 1 in the championship game of the Bret Harte Tournament in Angels Camp.

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