The Bullfrogs scored two first-half goals and defeated the Summerville Bears 2-0 Thursday in the Mother Lode League opener for both teams at Dorroh Field.
Bullfrogs forward Elaine Jordan scored Bret Harte's first goal 34 minutes into the game after a shot by midfielder Allie Steele deflected off Summerville's goalkeeper. Jordan was in perfect position to put the ball in the net for the game's first score.
"Elaine made a good followup," said midfielder Lauren Redding. "That's what we work on and it was our advantage tonight."
Redding, a junior, scored Bret Harte's second goal three minutes later off a drive from about 15 yards.
After receiving the ball, Redding dribbled past two Bears and sent a laser-guided missile into the bottom left corner of the net that Summerville's keeper had no chance of stopping.
"I got open and my coaches taught me once you get the ball to shoot it as quick as you can, so I visualized a target and got right on it," Redding said.
Bret Harte controlled possession throughout most of the second half, but the Bears defense turned up the pressure and held the Bullfrogs to no goals despite several chances.
"They kept pressuring us and we try to focus more on control instead of shooting all the time, but we wanted to get another goal because 2-0 is a dangerous score," said Redding. "They had good, clean passes and were also really fast up on the front line, so it was a tough game."
"They had their opportunities, but I would say we kept the ball on our side of the field and possessed very well," said Bret Harte head coach Rosie Sundell. "I'm very proud of the way the girls played, but this league is always very competitive so we'll take it one game at a time."
Sundell also praised the performances of keeper Jessica Stohlman, who earned her first shut out of the season, and of Steele, who seemed to be everywhere Thursday and played a big role in Bret Harte's first goal.
"She's a big piece of everything we do on this field," Sundell said of Steele. "She's our center midfielder and she controls that middle, but you'll also notice how she has an impact on almost everything that happens.
"She's engaged, she's a part of it, she's a playmaker and she's a co-captain for us. She has been a strong player in this league for a long time and she'll go on to play after this."
Summerville head coach Brad Schultz was happy with his team's effort despite the tough loss.
"I'm very pleased tonight with our overall effort," said Schultz. "We're a young team. I start three freshmen, a couple sophomores and only have three returning starters from last year - so we have a lot of growing to do."
Bear co-captain Nicole Schultz said her team's goal for the season is to keep improving and earn a postseason berth for the fourth year in-a-row.
"We know it's going to be hard, but we're not going down without a fight," she said.
Summerville sweeper and co-captain Katelynn Stewart was proud of her team's effort Thursday.
"I think everybody brought it," she said. "I think our keeper (Larissa Barrett, also a co-captain) definitely stood out. She's more aggressive and was just awesome tonight.
"Nicole (Schultz) also did amazing and I think Darian (Skellenger) made a lot of runs. Teska (Hapig-Ward) and Shylynn (Pollard) also really stepped it up tonight."
The Bears (0-1 MLL) next host Argonaut Tuesday in Tuolumne at 7 p.m. Stewart expects a challenge from the Mustangs.
"They're going to come out strong and we just need to come out stronger," she said.
Meanwhile, the Bullfrogs (1-0 MLL) will be in Sutter Creek taking on the Amador Buffaloes.
"We played well tonight, but this league is so competitive that every game is different," Sundell said. "Summerville could come back and play differently next time, so we're not going to take any game lightly and expect to have some tough competition."