PETALUMA – The juggernaut that is the St. Vincent de Paul High School girls soccer teamed steamed to within one game of perfection Saturday afternoon, sweeping over Calistoga’s Wildcats in the process.
Playing on their home rug in Petaluma, the Mustang girls eliminated Calistoga, 7-1, in the second round of the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs. The win was the 18th straight without a defeat for the Mustangs, who now have only Credo-Rohnert Park in the NCS championship game standing between them and not only the NCS pennant, but also a perfect season.
Saturday’s game at St. Vincent was really no contest.
St. Vincent scored three goals in the game’s first seven minutes and was never really challenged by the Wildcats.
“We were just overmatched,” said Calistoga coach Jack McMahon, whose Wildcats finished 8-9 for the season. “They are skilled at every position and they are very fast.”
The Wildcats started the game with only 12 players, and finished with just 11 after losing one to what appeared to be a minor ankle injury midway through the second half. Still, the Wildcats played hard, gamely hanging on to get a goal in the second half, and digging in against a late-game St. Vincent assault to deny the host team all but one goal over the closing minutes.
St. Vincent, with its second lopsided win in as many playoff games following a 6-0 victory over Upper Lake in its opener on Wednesday, once again gave each player extended playing stretches.
“This was another chance for us to get everybody into the playoff game,” noted St. Vincent coach Kevin Richardson.
Early on in the second half, Richardson again sent the Mustangs into what he calls their “possession offense,” spreading his players all over half the field and deftly passing around the perimeter as the clocked blinked away.
Athena Edwards scored twice in St. Vincent’s early surge, one coming on a kick that curved like the best of David Beckham or Clayton Kershaw.
Katie Gross also scored twice and Grace Hosbein, Emma Riley and Patty Chelini added one goal each.
Calistoga got a goal for pride about midway through the second half when Gilda Rojas scored off a well-executed corner kick.
Credo and host St. Vincent will meet in the NCS championship match on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.