NCS soccer championships: Sonoma Academy girls, Anderson Valley boys win titles

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Savannah Stoughton scored three goals Saturday to lift top-seeded Sonoma Academy to a 5-2 win over Middletown and the North Coast Section Division 3 girls championship.

The Coyotes win their fourth NCS crown and finish the season 21-1. The Mustangs, seeded second, end the campaign 19-3.

“We had high expectations this season,” said Sonoma Academy coach Chris Ziemer. “This is a really talented group of players. Their work ethic in practice was amazing. Today we proved we’re the best small-school team in the area.”

Stoughton’s first goal, off an assist from Kayja Mann, gave the Coyotes an early lead. Middletown countered with a score to tie, but Lucy Donaldson scored in the 23rd minute to put the Coyotes back on top 2-1.

Sally Ziemer set up Stoughton’s second score, eight minutes into the second half, and it appeared that the Coyotes would cruise to the crown.

“We thought at that point that we were dominating play,” Chris Ziemer said. “We had some scoring opportunities, so we thought we had a chance to put the game away.”

Hannah Diaz, one of the best players in Northern California, had other ideas.

The Middletown star scored in the 19th minute of the second half to trim the margin to 3-2. “Diaz is one of the most prolific scorers the area has had,” Chris Ziemer said. “She scored over 60 goals this year.”

Chloe Colbert’s goal, with an assist from Katie Johannsen, put Sonoma Academy back in control. Stoughton’s third goal, after a pass from Johannsen, made it 5-2 with 10 minutes remaining in the match.

“We talked about how the two teams had strong attacks,” Chris Ziemer said. “We knew we might have to score three or four goals to win.”

Colbert finished the season with 37 goals and Stoughton with 27.

Sonoma Academy goalkeeper Julie Willmers injured a rib early in the game. “She toughed it out,” the Coyotes’ coach said. “She was outstanding.”

Ziemer also credited Payton Devore and Paige Spradlin, who “anchored the defense.”

“The girls have a great deal of pride in winning for Sonoma Academy,” he added.

DIVISION 3 BOYS: ANDERSON VALLEY 1, DREW 0

Top seed Anderson Valley claimed the NCS Division III championship with a thrilling one-goal triumph at home.

Anderson Valley finishes with a 20-3-1 mark, finishing 9-2-1 in the North Central League II. Drew, a surprise title-match entry as the No. 7 seed, winds up 8-11-3 out of the Bay Counties League.

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