Cate School blanked Laguna Blanca 3-0 in a non-league girls soccer match on Thursday in Carpinteria.

Rachel Ma scored in the 10th and 42nd minutes and Tali Nam found the net in the 23rd minute. Grace Blankenhorn had two assists and Taylor Kane had one for the Rams (2-1-1).

“We played one of our best halves ever,” said Cate coach Taylor Wyatt. “They showed incredible composure against a physical Laguna team and were able to maintain their possession game even under high pressure.  In fact, the team tallied about 200 completed passes on the stat sheet and that’s a lot. As one spectator said, ‘it was like watching the girls varsity version of the English Premier League.’

“I really want to highlight our defensive play, anchored in the middle by Maddy Tunnell and Kim Rogers who both made a lot of good choices about when to tackle and when to contain. It was Olivia Dorion who had the stand-out performance, attacking out of the back, leading the defense with over 15 completed passes and even taking a shot on goal.”

“While we put up a valiant fight, they controlled most of the game,” said Laguna coach Kevin Shertzer. “They scored 10 minutes in off a brilliant shot and  23 minutes in, they scored a second off of a cross and a nice run from their outside half.  The first half ended 2-0.

“A few minutes into the second half, a punt from their keeper caught us unorganized and led to a breakaway. Our keeper, Natalie McCaffery made one brilliant save on the goal-line and stopped a penalty. Our only clear-cut chance came late in the game but we were unable to convert.

“Cate is a strong team and I was happy with the effort our girls put in, especially in the second half.  They put us under pressure the entire game and despite the loss, we learned a lot about what it takes to succeed at this level.  It exposed a couple of weaknesses in our team and this is exactly what you want at the beginning of the season.”

Cate will travel to Los Olivos to take on Dunn School on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.