Led by four different goal scorers, the Sutter High girls soccer team captured its first win of the season on the road, 4-0 over Lindhurst Wednesday in a battle between border schools that reside in separate sections.
Part of the guidelines surrounding the reopening of prep sports amid the pandemic were that schools had to stay within their county or a border county during the season. Sutter, a member of the Northern Section, wouldn’t normally play Lindhurst, which resides in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Last year the Huskies did not play the Blazers at all, so for Sutter head coach Jeffrey Stanhope it was a new look right off the bat this season.
Sutter scored within the game’s first 10 minutes when Dara Schmidt’s shot ricocheted off Lindhurst defenders past keeper Celeste Fernandez, one of only two varsity returners on the roster.
Fernandez was pelted early by a number of Sutter shots, but kept the Huskies up by only one goal through 40 minutes.
Stanhope switched to a more aggressive defense in the second half to allow for more offense.
“We pressured the girl closest to the ball and told everyone else to find a mark,” he said.
What Stanhope called a high pressure maneuver led to three second-half goals from a trio of players to put game one in the books.
Swaisy Van Dusen, Kylie Lemaster and Madelyn Lathrop all joined Schmidt on the scoresheet, while Schmidt and Van Dusen each added two assists.
Stanhope said overall he was pleased with the result despite the early first-game jitters, caused in part by a long lay-off.
Sutter travels to Gridley Thursday for a 3:30 p.m. scheduled kickoff.
For Lindhurst head coach Rogelio Herrera, this year is about gaining experience for a roster that is made up mostly of junior varsity players. Outside of Fernandez and freshman Julissa Camolinga, Herrera said the rest of the unit was brought up to hold a season.
Herrera said Lindhurst held up fairly well against a high-powered Sutter team. In the first half, Lindhurst cleared several Sutter opportunities and even transitioned into the attacking third at about the 13th minute of the contest. While the Blazers were turned away offensively, the team trailed by only a goal at the break.
In the final minutes, Lindhurst was able to get perhaps its best opportunity when Camolinga beat a Sutter defender in the open field and delivered a shot that sailed inches over the crossbar.
Herrera said Camolinga is the team’s best option right now.
“If somebody is going to make it, it’s Julissa,” he said.
Lindhurst hosts Gridley Wednesday, April 7 beginning at 3:30 p.m.