Whitney claws past Colfax

Wildcats defend PVL crown, but teams could meet again in Division IV section final
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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COLFAX — Unbeaten no more, the Colfax High girls soccer team is shifting its attention to another goal never before achieved at the school. Whitney dominated its regular season finale and defended its Pioneer Valley League championship with a 2-0 win over the Falcons Wednesday afternoon, handing Colfax its first loss of the spring. And while the Wildcats will open defense of their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV crown on May 18, the Falcons will also host their playoff opener as the PVL runner-up, looking to play in the first title tilt in program history. “I’m proud of my girls,” head coach Steve Robinson said. “I know they tried their best. One loss against the defending section champion doesn’t ruin a season of all the great things we’ve done.” Still fatigued from a grueling win over El Dorado in Placerville on Monday, Colfax (17-1-3, 9-1-1 PVL) mustered only five shots Wednesday against the Wildcats (15-2-2, 11-0-1 PVL). Kacey Capuchino’s strike was the first — in the 26th minute. “We were flat,” Robinson said. “We weren’t getting to the ball, and I feel bad for our girls, because we can definitely play with Whitney. When you’re tired, your attack doesn’t get generated. We were playing it right to their defense, so that made it harder.” Whitney’s Maxie Haase headed Ashley Jones’ corner kick into the Falcons’ net in the eighth minute and Marisa Sievers scored on a follow less than two minutes later. The Wildcats, who finished with a 13-2 advantage in corner kicks, were able to set the pace and play back for the remaining 70 minutes. “We pride ourselves on everybody playing good individual and team defense, and the most important thing is trying to get those early goals,” Whitney head coach Rich Donofrio said. “Those were huge. We were able to control the tempo after that. Today was our day. If we have to play them again, who knows what’s going to happen?” If both teams win first- and second-round games, they’ll meet for the third time this season with a section banner on the line. “We’d love to get them again,” Robinson said. “We’re just happy to have a home game. We don’t usually get to host a playoff.” Colfax will host the Valley Oak League runner-up, which will either be Manteca or Sierra, on May 18. The Falcons first wrap up their PVL slate with a home game under the lights Friday against archnemesis Placer. “We have a big rivalry with Placer that we don’t want to go their way,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to come off two tough games and figure out how to beat them. We’ll regroup and enjoy the Placer game and hopefully improve and get better.”