Dancing past the Wolves: Colfax tops Woodland 3-1 in soccer playoffBy: Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
COLFAX – In the vast reaches of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, the home-field advantage can more often than not be worth its weight in gold when it comes to the playoffs.
That adage rang true here Thursday afternoon as the Colfax Lady Falcons struck fast and hard against visiting Woodland in the first round of the CIF’s Div. IV playoff tournament.
Using a pair of swift goals in rapid-fire fashion from Amber Tobiasz and Sam Melendez, the Lady Falcons went on to tame the Wolves, 3-1, and advance to next Wednesday’s CIF semifinal round at No. 1 seed East Union of Manteca.
For Colfax, which had fell at home to Rodriguez of Fairfield the last two seasons in its playoff openers, the postseason victory was the first since the Lady Falcons blanked Manteca, 3-0, in 2010.
“It was nice to get a home match, it really pumped us up,” said Colfax’s Brittany Thomas, a senior co-captain, who was a catalyst on both ends of the field for the winners. “ We got off to a good start and that really fired us up.”
Colfax, which outshot the visitors from the Tri-County Conference 18-6, grabbed a lead it wouldn’t relinquish 18 minutes into the match when Tobiasz received a pass from Katie Garcia, put one touch on the ball and then left-footed a rifle shot up and over Woodland goalie Stephanie Doss from 20 yards out.
The Colfax fans hardly had time to settle back into their seats following Tobiasz’s goal, when Melendez duplicated Colfax’s first score as she fired a shot past Doss, this one from about 25 yards out. The two goals came within three minutes of each other and put the Lady Falcons up 2-0.
“Those two quick scores were huge,” said Colfax coach Lefty Wilks. “We were really in control of the match from there.”
For good measure, the Lady Falcons increased their lead to 3-0 just minutes before halftime when Garcia headed in a beautiful corner kick off the foot of Makenzy Thilmony.
Woodland finally took advantage of a Colfax defensive lapse with 10 minutes left when Kristen Ward scored for the Wolves.
However, heady efforts from Brittany Thomas, Katy Thomas, Dani Melendez, Amanda Moore, Sophie Satterlee and Emilee Klug kept Woodland in check the rest of the way.
Wilks was able to rotate a lot of players in throughout the second half including, call-ups Celine Ford and Mackenzie Young from Colfax’s Pioneer Valley League championship JV team.
“It’s been a long season, so anytime you get a chance to rest players you have to,” Wilks said. “I thought everyone played great today and did a good job.”