After a five-goal loss earlier in the week, the Summerville Bears girls’ soccer team was not going to have a repeat of that performance.
Summerville came out pressuring up top and the Bears defended as a unit to force a 0-0 draw against Linden in a rain-soaking Mother Lode League match on Wednesdayat Sonora High’s Dunlavy Field.
“Our effort tonight was a lot better,” said Summerville head coach Brad Schultz. “The girls really played hard. I mean, all the girls really played hard. They went out there with a purpose tonight.”
The Bears outshot Linden 15-5, but were unable to finish any chances into goals. Despite not scoring, midfielder Alica Scott said the team’s movement upfield was a step in the right direction.
“I feel like we got the ball up a lot more,” Scott said. “We’ve been working on our runs in practice, and I feel we really moved that into the game today and used it. We were able to get through a couple of times.”
Wreaking havoc in the final third was junior Kylie Berger, who made the start at forward after coming in as a substitute against Amador on Monday, and sophomore striker Darian Skellenger.
The duo formed a strong attacking threat.
“Kylie constantly applied pressure to their defense,” Schultz said. “Her and Darian. It was nice to see them both working hard and pressuring their defenders and getting shots off.”
In the midfield, Scott and Teska Hapig-Ward both played a vital role in controlling the tempo and flow of the game. Summerville out-possessed Linden, for spurts, and was able to record its second shutout in MLL play.
The Bears defensive backline, who had problems containing an aggressive Amador attack in their last game, responded by shutting down Linden’s forwards. The team and goalkeeper Isabella Boyack posted its second clean sheet of the season.
“That’s a huge turnaround,” Schultz said of the shutout. “The team really needed that. The team needed to realize they can do that. With the effort and passion they put in, it made a big difference.”
Summerville has scored only once in its last three matches since exploding for five against Argonaut on March 17. The Bears have netted seven goals in MLL competition and have allowed a total of 10.
The Bears are also the only team this season to score against Bret Harte. The Bullfrogs have recorded three shutouts in league play.
The Bears (1-3-1 MLL) will return to action on Monday when they play Bret Harte (3-0-1 MLL) at 7 p.m.
“We got to put the ball in the back of the net,” Schultz said. “It only takes one. We need to get back into that attitude of ‘We need to score, we’re going to score.’ It’s going to happen. We’re going to start putting the ball back in the net again. Tonight was one step closer. We got our shot numbers back up.”