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Hillmen nip Lady Falcons, 3-2; Take PVL lead

Placer beats Colfax in girls soccer for 1st time since joining PVL in 2006
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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COLFAX – Color the early shade of the Pioneer Valley League soccer race a hue of Hillmen Green and Gold.

Taking advantage of success earned off of a pair of free kicks, Placer’s girls soccer team used freshman Samantha Slade’s header goal via a Brittany Bartle free kick with seven minutes left to play here Monday as the difference in a hard fought, 3-2, win over Colfax’s Lady Falcons.

The win moves Placer into sole possession of the Pioneer Valley League race with a perfect 3-0 league record. Colfax, meanwhile, the defending league champions, suffered their first loss of league play and drops back to 2-1.

In a spirited contest played between two evenly-matched squads, the Hillmen also made a little history with their win.

“That’s amazing,” said Placer coach Steve Cook when told that the Hillmen win was the first-ever in PVL play by Placer over Colfax since the Hillmen joined the league in 2006. During that stretch, Colfax had defeated Placer’s girls 14 straight times, outscoring the Auburn booters by a 29-2 margin during that span.

However, Cook was more than pleased by his young team’s effort which saw a Placer field a host of freshman and sophomores on the pitch at the same time.

“We’re young but I thought our girls played hard the whole way today,” said Cook. “We respect what Colfax has done but our girls played their match. “It was fitting that Samantha scored the winning goal for us. She’s only a freshman but has a passion for the game.”

In an up and down first half, Colfax held a 10-6 advantage on shots taken but could only manage a 1-1 stalemate at the halftime break.

Ten minutes into the fray, Colfax took a 1-0 lead when Emilee Klug popped one past Placer goalie Jenelle Pickard (six saves) from 10 yards out.

But late in the first half after a Colfax penalty, Bartle drew the Hillmen even when she floated in a free kick with the wind from 30 yards out to make it 1-1.

Ten minutes into the second half, Placer’s Sabrina Viscuso, a senior captain, gave the Hillmen a 2-1 lead  when she scored a goal past Colfax keeper Lindsey Platt off an assist from Tiffany Harben.

But Colfax then turned up the pressure and finally with 15 minutes left in the match tied the count at 2-2 on a goal by Katie Garcia.

That set the stage for Slade’s winning goal off Bartle's free kick after the Lady Falcons were called for a foul ten yards outside the box.

Placer had more than its share of standouts in the win. They included Bartle, Macaylea Mitchell, Clair Brown and Maddy Waters. For Colfax, Amanda Moore, Sophie Satterlee and Katy Thomas played well.

“Right now we’re just looking at getting ready for Bear River Wednesday,” said Cook. “We have a long way to go. It’s one match at a time.”