In a battle between 9-0 squads, each ranked in the top 10 in California by MaxPreps, it was a wide-open miss on a breakaway that helped shake Adaurie Dayak and visiting Kimball out of its sluggish start Tuesday at East Union.
The host Lancers were in full control for the first 25 minutes, outshooting Kimball 6-0 with a few dangerous looks from inside 25 yards.
Enter Dayak, who was set up perfectly by Amber Lennier’s through ball in the 23rd minute. With EU keeper Adrieanna Wood bolting out of the goal area to challenge, Dayak pushed her open-net attempt wide left.
A golden opportunity wasted for sure, but it served as the glimmer of hope the Jaguars needed. They went on to stun the late-charging Lancers 2-1 and establish themselves as the team to beat in the Valley Oak League.
“That’s a very good team,” East Union coach Jim Todd said. “I think they’re one of the top programs. We just didn’t look ourselves. Hopefully it washes out of the uniforms.”
Marissa Paz blasted in the game’s first goal from distance in the 35th minute. Kimball (2-0, 10-0 overall) doubled its lead in the first minute of the second half when Dayak snuck behind EU’s defensive line on Lennier’s high-arcing pass from near midfield and buried her team-leading 10th goal.
The young and talented Jaguars, who opened with a statement-making 2-0 win over Manteca, are looking to earn the school’s first league championship — in any sport — in its third varsity campaign. Kimball proved to be competitive in its first two seasons in the VOL but just missed out on postseason berths. Now, it appears poised to make a run at East Union’s throne.
“We have a lot of great players, so that’s what pretty much got us to this point,” said the Sacramento State-bound Dayak, whose father Troy played for the U.S. Olympic team and the San Jose Earthquakes.
“We had some sense knocked into us. We didn’t know what was hitting us at first. We had a big talk before the game saying that East Union is a great team that is going to come at us. Once we realized how physical and how great they are we snapped into it.”
Todd hopes the loss — the team’s first in league since dropping a 3-1 decision to Manteca on May 4, 2011 — has a similar affect on his club.
“It can actually be good for us,” he said. “This is an early-season wake-up call. At least now we don’t have to worry about the undefeated thing.”
The Lancers began to regain their form from earlier in the match after Erica daSilva sent a cannon shot past Kimball’s Tayler Lennier from about 40 yards out in the 55th minute.
The Jaguars were on their heels for the remainder of the game.
Isela Rivera was thwarted in the 77th minute when she deflected Lennier’s attempt to clear the ball away from Kimball’s penalty area. With the goal momentarily unattended, Rivera drove a low shot toward the right post but had it blocked by Kimball defender Miciah Madison.
Moments later, the Lancers thought they had knotted the score after Kianna Lamont positioned herself behind Lennier on a set piece and knocked the ball into the net. She was called offsides. Lamont had two more looks off headers but was off the mark.
“We had a lot of point-blank (opportunities) in our last game (a 7-0 win over Lathrop) that we couldn’t get in,” Todd said. “We just have to be more focused on getting the right touches when we have those chances.”
East Union 6, Kimball 0
Atalie Cardenas collected four goals in the Squires’ dominant effort Tuesday. Aleah Jarin and Alexis Phillips added one apiece.”