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Cougars capture Davis Legacy Tourney
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DAVIS — The California Cougars under-19 girls soccer team captured the Premier Division title in the 2nd annual Davis Legacy College Showcase at the Davis Legacy Soccer Complex this past weekend.

With college scouts and coaches looking on, Sierra High junior Joanna Ortiz contributed three goals and three assists. Sierra teammates Sydnee Koscilecki and Stephanie Vanni, both incoming seniors, helped goalkeeper Brianna Murawski post two shutouts.

Ortiz helped the Cougars jump start their tournament run with a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over the Mission Viejo SC Shamrocks. Jessica Cervantes led all scorers with two goals.

California cruised again 4-0 against Diablo FC 92 Blue, with Alexis Poppoff and Ortiz each scoring twice.

The Cougars ended the preliminary round with a 1-1 draw against the East Fresno United Fusion, which needed to win to advance to the semifinals. Ortiz assisted Poppoff’s equalizing goal with just 5 minutes to go in one of the division’s most talked-about preliminary matches.

The Poppoff-Ortiz connection struck again in a 4-1 drubbing of Federal Way USA Reign 92 in the semifinal round. Poppoff accounted for all four Cougar goals, with Ortiz assisting one of them.

The championship round featured a rematch with the East Fresno United Fusion, and more offense was involved this time around.

California netted the match’s first goal before Fresno fired back and eventually took a 3-1 lead early in the second half. Cervantes began the Cougars’ wild comeback with two goals to tie it, and with 3 minutes remaining Megan Mata fired in the game-winner to cap the 4-3 victory. Mata also had three assists in the final round.

The California Cougars will next compete in the prestigious Pleasanton Rage College Showcase in two weeks.

— Jonamar Jacinto