ELK GROVE – Top-seeded Vista del Lago of Folsom put up two early goals Saturday and added a second-half insurance goal as No. 2 Sierra had problems getting its offense going in a 3-1 win for the Eagles in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championship at Elk Grove High School.
“It’s tough when you dig yourself an early hole against a quality opponent like this,” Timberwolves coach Manual Pires said. “They capitalized on the opportunities they created and we had to fight to get out of that mode there and we did. I thought we finished strong at the end of the first half when we got that goal.”
Trailing 2-0 in the closing minutes of the first half, the one-two punch of Minty Doyle and Jadyn Shinn connected for Sierra (25-3). With defenders surrounding her, Doyle picked up her 20th assist of the season and somehow got the ball to Shinn. Blanketed by two defenders, Shinn split the pair and got the ball into the net to close the gap to 2-1.
“I usually find Jadyn in the box and I saw her making a great run and I thought if I could make it to her she could make a nice shot and she did,” Doyle said.
“This was a great year. This was probably the best year I have had in my four years here. The fact that I got to spend my last year and my last game playing with such a great team is awesome for me.”
This was Shinn’s team-leading 42nd goal of the season. Just a sophomore, Shinn has a verbal commitment to Notre Dame.
“I saw Minty get the ball and I know she always tries to find me,” Shinn said. “She is tough and I knew she could get me the ball and she did.
“I had a lot of players around me and I found the pockets between the players and I tried to get through them and I got the shot.”
Vista del Lago peppered the Timberwolves with eight shots in the first half but the Sierra defense tightened in the second half, not allowing a shot on goal until the 65th minute. Conversely, Sierra was on the attack much more in the second half with six shots on goal as opposed to just three in the first 40 minutes.
“We started really strong in the second half and the opportunities were there we just didn’t quite put them away,” Pires said. “I am proud of how we responded in the second half and played really well against a high-quality team.
“If we would have started the first 10 minutes like we finished off the first half, this could have been a different result, but they deserved to win. They were the better team and they scored the goals.”
Payton Kaestner got the Eagles (19-2-3) on the board just three minutes in with a header off of a corner kick. Emily Ormason hit one from the wing in the 23rd minute to bump the score to 2-0 and Hannah Trengrove put the game away midway through the second half.
“When you start off fast like that it sort of puts the other team back on its heels,” Vista del Lago coach Jaimy McLaughlin said. “The girls worked hard on their passing and it showed today.”