The Summerville High School Bears were defeated by the Ripon High School Indians 3-0 during a rainy on-field battle Tuesday night in the first round of the 2019 CIF Northern California Regional Girls Soccer Division V Championship.
Coach Dave Marquez said he knew before the game that the girls would be in for a tough competition against Ripon, the Sac - Joaquin Section Division V champions.
“When you get to this point in the season, every team that you're playing is a team that's been winning all year. You have to know there aren't going to be any easy games,” he said.
Marquez gave the girls the same advice he gave before all of their high-stakes matchups.
“I said, ‘go out and play your best soccer. If they're going to beat you, make sure they beat the best you, so you can hold your heads high after the game.’ I felt like we played like that,” he said.
Summerville entered the match with Ripon on a nine-game winning streak. They beat Golden Sierra High School 1-0 at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove Feb. 16 to secure the Sac - Joaquin Section Division VI championship.
And for the first half of the game, Summerville held Ripon to a scoreless tie.
“The idea was to go out there and play as good as we can and give them a good game. I feel like we did that,” Marquez said.
Marquez credited the defense for their steadfast effort. Before the game, they surrendered only 11 goals in 20 matches, he said.
But 10 minutes into the first half, a group of Bears and Indians scrambled for control of the ball just out front of the Summerville goal. A Ripon player managed to get a toe to the ball and tip it into the net, he said.
In the next 15 minutes, a barrage of shots put a comeback out of reach for the Bears. In about the 60’ minute, a shot from inside the 18-yard-box scored, and with 15 minutes left “a rocket from well over 30 yards out” flew beyond the goalkeeper’s fingertips into the goal.
“The defense didn’t fall apart,” he said. “You can't take away from the fact that both of the shots were good shots on goal. The plan is to score goals and sometimes you just have to say it was a great shot.”
Despite the loss, Marquez said he was proud of the team’s effort to compete at the state CIF level.
“Our girls went out there and did not lay down on a rainy Tuesday night in the valley. Sometimes games don't go your way, but I certainly don't see the game as a reflection of our entire season,” he said.
The Mother Lode League did not crown a definitive champion in girls soccer this year due to weather complications, which forced the cancellation of multiple games. Marquez said the girls were hampered by the low altitude snow, which forced them into weeks of practice in the gym and home games at Sonora High School.
“You’re dealing with weather that people don't like to get into to go to the office in their car. Just dealing with the elements in soccer takes a lot out of you,” he said.
While still reformulating team strategy after multiple injuries in December, Summerville rolled to Sac - Joaquin Section Division IV victories over Ripon Christian on Feb. 12 (2-0) and Mariposa on Feb. 14 (4-0) before winning the section title.
Marquez said the Summerville girls were focused on team-oriented play, but next season they would miss seniors Rachel Tyler, midfield; Candace Olsen, defense; Stephany Randall, forward/wing; Macey Mitchell, defense; and Annabel Rust, midfield/forward.
“I think they'll all look back at this year with great memories. That's all you can ask for as a parent and a coach. They represented Summerville High School in a positive light,” he said. “If you measure success by wins and losses I would say Summerville soccer had a successful season. And if you measure success by fun, being enjoyable and having a positive atmosphere, we were successful in that area as well.”