Falcons dominate in the deluge

By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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COLFAX — Placer High girls soccer coach Steve Cook knew goals would be at a premium for his club Tuesday afternoon as the Hillgals took on the defending Pioneer Valley League champions. Colfax made finding the net even tougher by rarely sharing the ball with its rival.
Senior Celeena Wall had no trouble finding the net as her hat trick carried the Falcons to a 3-0 victory over the Hillgals. Meanwhile Kate Bianchi and the Colfax defense pitched a shutout for the 10th time in 11 matches this season.
“You have to have the ball to attack,” Cook said after the rain-soaked contest. “When you have Bianchi back there at sweeper – she’s probably the defensive player of the year in the PVL – it’s tough to attack the middle of the field. We just couldn’t keep up the attack.”
Colfax shared the ball beautifully despite the ugly, cold conditions. Wall found herself in the right place at the right time on all three of her strikes. In the 20th minute, Kayla Garcia poked a loose ball to Wall at the top of the penalty box and she drilled it into the left corner to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Placer hung around, with Micaylea Mitchell and Brittany Bartle creating a couple of promising opportunities in the first half. After halftime, it was all Colfax.
“In the first half we were trying to play the ball in the air too much,” Colfax coach Lefty Wilks said. “At halftime we talked about finding feet more and I told them to quit putting 50/50 balls up in the air. Keeping the ball on the ground, keeping possession kept us dominating.”
The Falcons got the all-important second goal midway through the second half on a nice setup from Kelly Harris, who streaked down the right sideline and crossed to Wall, who one-touched it past Placer’s helpless goalkeeper Kyra Hostetler.
Wall’s final goal came in the 71st minute as she followed up a dangerous free kick by Bianchi.
Colfax (2-0 PVL, 10-1 overall) got tremendous defensive play from Brittany Thomas, Sophie Satterlee, Christina Keyes and Bianchi. Goalkeeper Michalynn Hoffman made two saves.
Placer (1-1 PVL, 5-5 overall) played without defensive captain Caitlin Letcher, who Cook said will miss four to six weeks with a sprained ankle. Rachel Callahan and Kaitlin Libby helped hold off the Colfax attack along with Alexandra Lee and Sarah Rowland. Hostetler also had an excellent effort, saving 12 Colfax shots.
“I was pleased with our keeper’s effort,” Cook said of the freshman. “She had to make a lot of saves and I think she grew up a lot today. She kept her head up.”
In junior varsity action, Colfax beat Placer 4-0 in a game that was called at halftime due to dangerous conditions on the Colfax field. Celine Ford got the scoring started. Katie Garcia, Marissa Pontius and Sarah Bianchi also had goals for the Falcons (6-1 overall).

Bear River 7, Foothill 0 at Lake of the Pines — The Bruins recovered from a PVL-opening loss to Lincoln with a romp at home Tuesday.
Bear River (1-1 PVL, 3-2 overall) will host Placer on Thursday.