Rancho cruises to win in soccer friendly

By DANIEL POULTER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

On a 98-degree afternoon in Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy (6-1) faced off in a midseason soccer friendly with Rancho Cotate (4-3-2).  After a tough first half for both teams, Rancho Cotate scored five goals in 10 minutes to start the second half and coasted to a 10-3 victory.

Monday’s goal-scoring started early. Four minutes in, Sonoma Academy’s star senior forward Kate Bayes passed a through ball to Lucy Donaldson, who put the first score on the board for the Coyotes.  Rancho Cotate quickly regrouped and took the ball straight downfield to score a minute later. The goal was a result of confusion from a cross into the box; Francis Deleon shot the ball into the goal during the chaos. On Sonoma Academy’s next possession with the ball, Bayes injured her wrist and was taken out for a couple minutes.

The injury did not stop Bayes from scoring in the 22nd minute off of Savannah Stoughton’s corner cross. Rancho struck again suddenly to get the equalizer; a cross from Christine Riccosa to captain Mariah Meuse made it 2-2.  Three minutes, later Meuse put it in the back of the net to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead at the half.

Sonoma Academy coach Chris Ziemer commented that it was a “pretty even first half.” and coach Jim Smith of Rancho Cotate added, “We came out flat after our double overtime game with Ukiah (on Friday).” Smith said he calmed down his girls at the half time and “put a challenge to them.”

The Cougars came out fast in the second half, scoring five goals in 10 minutes, two from Alyssa Hickling and a 5-minute hat trick by Christine Riccosa.

Sonoma Academy did not play Bayes in the second half.

 “We didn’t just lose a very good player; we lost our only senior leadership,” Ziemer said. Even with losing his best player, Ziemer gave credit to Rancho Cotate for the scoring barrage.

After both teams had put in their substitutions, Rancho Cotate added two more goals in the 68th and 72nd minutes from Kelsey Moss and Kelsey Tuttle. Sonoma Academy did not give up, even being down by eight goals, and in the 78th minute Stoughton put one in the net to cap the scoring.

Rancho Cotate heads to Elsie Allen next and then plays Montgomery at home. Sonoma Academy visits Summerfield and Clear Lake.