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Girls Soccer

San Marcos Soccer Keeps Shutout Streak Going in CIF Playoffs

 

The San Marcos defense smothered visiting Diamond Ranch, and the Royals got second-half goals from Danielle Anderson and Sierra Palladino for a 2-0 victory in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 first-round soccer playoff match on Thursday at Warkentin Stadium.

It was the first playoff win since 2006 for the Royals, the last time they won a CIF championship.

The San Marcos’ back line of Natalie Widmer, Palladino, Tasha Wood and Anderson, and defensive midfielders Raynee Odell, Melanie Miller kept Diamond Ranch from generating any real dangerous situations for goalkeeper Addie Furrer.

“Our defense, they’re definitely keeping us alive and they will continue to do so,” San Marcos coach Edwin Portillo said. “I can’t say enough about my back four and Addie.”

The shutout was the eighth straight and 14th of the season out of 18 matches.

The Royals (13-2-3) had their chances to jump on Diamond Ranch (10-10-2) early but they finishing touch wasn’t there.

“Our first touch was off, definitely,” Portillo said. “We’ve been working on the attacking third the last couple of days, knowing we need to get a cross and get somebody in there. Then we do but our first touch, for some reason, we can’t seem to make solid contact.”

The Royals finally broke through seven minutes into the second half. Odell delivered a ball into the box to Jasmin Gama and Gama turned and flipped the ball off the hand of a Diamond Ranch defender. The referee called a violation and awarded a penalty kick.

“We were working on the defensive mid with the ball and the attacking mid getting inside the box and have the defensive mid give some diagonal balls,” Portillo explained of the play Odell made.

Anderson stepped up and drilled the spot kick into the lower left corner for a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, Palladino drilled a 30-yard shot off the goalkeeper’s fingers and the cross bar.

She got another crack at goal on a 25-yard free kick in the 69th minute and put the ball away with a beautiful shot inside the left post.

Portillo told Palladino she would be handling the free kicks in the second half.

“I told her: ‘We’re trusting you to take the free kicks. We know you can do it. Just hit it, keep your head down and just make sure you put it on frame.’ The keeper had no chance.”

Portillo said he had no idea what to expect from Diamond Ranch, but playoff soccer is all about playing at your best.

“Come playoff time it’s about who shows up, who shows up to play and execute. That’s what it comes down to,” he said.

The Royals play either Flintridge Prep or Granite Hills in the second round on Tuesday.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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