It was as dominant as a 2-0 win could be.
Sierra High’s girls soccer team is moving onto the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV after a one-sided effort against visiting Livingston Tuesday.
The margin of victory didn’t match the difference of play on the wet pitch.
Sierra (15-3-5) outshot the Wolves (13-4-1) 21-2 and had more cornerkick opportunities (8-1) but didn’t cash in on any of them. There were also two shots that nailed the crossbar, several one-on-one breakaways thwarted by Livingston keeper Flor Castro (five saves) and a late goal wiped away because of an offsides infraction.
“It could have been better, but a win’s a win,” said veteran defender Sydnee Koscielecki, who teamed with Donna Ochoa, Daisy Rivera, MaryAnn Baker and goalie Lia Unterholzner for the shutout.
Both goals were scored with three minutes left in each half.
Stephanie Vanni was set up with a one-on-one by a cross from freshman Sydnee Canales in the 37th minute.
Then in the 77th minute, Ochoa started a run from midfield and pushed it up to Dianna Alfaro, who, from the right side connected with a charging Joanna Ortiz for the insurance goal.
While happy to be moving on, Sierra coach Manuel Pires expects better out of his club on Thursday when it heads to Folsom to take on tournament favorite Vista del Lago (15-1), which dispatched the Timberwolves’ city rival, East Union, 4-1.
“You always want to win, but you want to win by playing good soccer,” Pires said. “We weren’t very consistent and needed to play with a little more speed.
“I’d like to see better passing and movement of the ball, and we missed a lot of opportunities. We took the foot off the gas a little bit (in the second half) and Livingston started getting some confidence.”
Livingston’s only legitimate chance to score came in the 75th minute, but Brittany Sarnillo, the team’s top goal scorer for the season, missed a point-blank header just a few feet wide of the right post.
That would have tied it and may have been a huge momentum builder for the Wolves, who aren’t as explosive offensively as they are stout on defense. Livingston allowed just 12 goals in 17 regular-season matches and gave up multiple goals in a single game just twice.
“Our defense is what got us here,” Livingston coach Maricela Alvear said. “Our goalie stopped a lot of shots out there, and our defense kept it out of there as much as they could. They were just up against a really good offensive team.”