With the short 2021 season nearing an end, the Calaveras High School girls’ soccer team is starting to find its groove. For the first time all year, Calaveras won back-to-back games and also won its first game at its temporary new home at Toyon Middle School.
In a defensive battle, Calaveras shutout Amador for the second straight game with a 1-0 victory Thursday afternoon in Valley Springs.
“It’s great,” Calaveras junior Sydney Remus said of winning back-to-back games. “This season has definitely been a learning season. We have tons of new girls who haven't played a lot together. But just to be out here is great, so to have back-to-back wins, finally, is a relief.”
Calaveras got onto the scoreboard three minutes into the game, but did so without the ball being shot by anyone wearing a red jersey. With the ball bouncing around in front of the goal, the Amador goalie was unable to stop it before it hit the back of the net, even though there was no official shot by a Calaveras player.
While no Calaveras player was credited with a goal, Remus was glad to have an early lead.
“It definitely automatically picks us up or spirits and makes us more intense,” Remus said. “It gives us a positive mindset going forward that we can do it. But once we get a goal, we still play like it’s 0-0. Getting a goal in the beginning doesn’t take pressure off of us, but it is a good start.”
With a 1-0 lead, Calaveras’ defense took over. Amador did have its chances in Calaveras territory, but was unable to get anything past the defense, which has now not allowed a goal in 160 minutes.
“I’m definitely proud of our defense,” Calaveras co-head coach Matt Simpson said. “Those girls have been working all year long to do everything they can to keep the ball not only out of the net, but not even near the goal box. Those girls are beasts back there. They are awesome and we have faith in them every time the ball goes back there.”
While Amador was unable to put the ball into the back of the net, neither was Calaveras. As time dwindled down, Remus could feel that the pressure was on her defense to keep the slim lead from changing.
“Knowing that we have to protect the lead in the last final minutes puts a lot of pressure on us and it gets stressful,” Remus said.
Simpson added, “Today was 100% more stressful than Tuesday. You always feel a little bit better when you have that extra goal cushion. Even though we had a lot of shots on the goal and opportunities today, we couldn't quite find that cushion. Anytime you are on that razor-thin edge, things are way more stressful.”
Calaveras (3-4-1 Mother Lode League) will wrap up its season next week with a home game on Tuesday against Sonora and a road matchup two days later against Argonaut in Jackson.
“We are just excited that we’ve come this far and we’ve had the opportunity to be out here playing and showing some success,” Simpson said. “We are looking to finish on a solid note and celebrate all the work that these girls put in this year.”