The Yosemite High Lady Badgers soccer team (11-1, 2-0 North Sequoia League) opened the league season last week with two solid wins.
The team is currently ranked No. 4 by maxpreps.com in D-III of the Central Section.
On Jan. 12, the team traveled to Chowchilla (5-12-2, 1-1), beating the Redskins 7-1, and followed with a 3-1 win at home over rival Sierra (4-4-2, 1-1 NSL) on Jan. 14.
The first goal of the game against Chowchilla was scored by junior Riley Ashton, who slammed the ball into the low right-hand corner of the net just a few minutes into play. This quick shot set the tone for the rest of the game, with goal after goal being put into the back of the net - three by Ashton and the remaining four by sophomore Peyton Garner.
Chowchilla was only able to score one goal against a strong Badger defense.
With their first league win under their belt, the girls were feeling confident for their Jan. 14 game against big-time rival Sierra. Last year the Badgers came close to beating the Chieftains but the game ended in a tie. All of the Yosemite team, including the coaches, were excited to redeem themselves from all previously lost games against Sierra, and the team’s intensity showed on the field.
The team trained hard the day before the game and studied opposing players to know exactly what to expect, which paid off. The Lady Badgers completely dominated the field, taking control of the game quickly.
Several shots were fired at Sierra’s outstanding goalie Kinley Riggs, who made several impressive saves, showing the Yosemite girls they would have to keep pressing the goal.
Finally, the offensive pressure was too much for Riggs, as Ashton was in the perfect position to score the first goal of the game, giving the team a new sense of determination.
After a sky-rocketing drop-kick from Riggs, Sierra managed to get a swift breakaway from the Badgers back line, giving the Chieftains their first and only goal of the game.
Yosemite immediately adjusted to their mistakes and fired back several more shots. Ashton soon set up a shot into the back of the net, giving the Badgers a 2-1 lead.
Although they were winning and the game was coming to a close, the team was still fighting for more, and as a cherry on top of the Badgers winning cake, sophomore Savannah Bohna placed another great shot into the right side of the Chieftains goal, finishing the game at 3-1.
Both Ashton and Bohna are extremely hard-working and gifted players, who just so happen to be cousins. They work well together and it’s not often that you find athletes as dedicated or talented as these two are.
The team is made up of several different types of players like this dynamic duo and each is just as important as the next; the diversity and the recognition that each Lady Badger gives to one another is what has made this team into the unstoppable machine it is today.
The team was very proud of the win over Sierra - by far one of the biggest victories for the Yosemite girl’s soccer team, having been beaten by Sierra 8 times over the previous four years.
“These girls came into the game with such intensity, determination, and confidence. It was exciting and amazing to watch,” coach Vanessa Jasper said. “The girls keep upping their game and I’m anxious to watch them grow.”
The Badger JV team is also 2-0 in league, beating Chowchilla 4-0, and Sierra 7-0.
On Tuesday, the Badgers played the team many favor to win the NSL crown, Liberty (8-4-2, 2-0). Scores were not available at press time. The Hawks are currently ranked No. 2 in the Central Section for D-III teams by maxpreps.com, No. 16 overall in the section.
The team travels to Washington Union Jan. 21, and hosts Chowchilla at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 26, and Kerman Jan. 28.
Boys team shut out by Sierra and Kerman
The Yosemite High boys soccer team (2-6, 0-2 North Sequoia League) lost both its NSL league opening games last week, getting shut out by Sierra and Kerman.
Sierra beat Yosemite 2-0 last Friday, and Kerman won 6-0 on Jan. 13.
“We had a great game against Sierra,” coach Rick Lemberg said. “It was a very close game, tied at 0-0 at the half. We played well and hard, but ended up losing.”
Sierra had 13 shots on goal and Yosemite had 11.
On Jan. 13, Yosemite was shut out by Kerman, 6-0.
“We had some players missing because of injuries and surgeries, but it wasn’t our night,” Lemberg said.
Kerman had 18 shots on goal during the game, while Yosemite took only six.
“The boys played very hard, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way against Kerman,” Lemberg said.
The Kerman JV team beat Yosemite 1-0, with the lone score coming from a penalty kick. Sierra does not have a JV team.
The varsity team plays at Washington Union Friday and will be home for a 5:30 p.m. game with Chowchilla on Jan. 27, and Kerman Jan. 29.
Details: See the Yosemite Athletics website under the winter sports drop down menu (yosemiteathletics.org).